FORT GORDON, Ga. (NNS) -- Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Georgia held a change of command ceremony at Fort Gordon, Ga., Aug. 1.
Capt. Michael Vernazza relieved Capt. James E. Brokaw as commander. Rear Adm. Sean R. Filipowski, director of Warfare Integration for Information Dominance on the OPNAV staff, presided over the ceremony attended by family, friends and shipmates. Filipowski said Brokaw has significantly raised the level of excellence for all who follow him.
"Visionary leaders embrace the principles of covenant leadership bring out the best in their people," said Filipowski.
"Jim has led with an incomparable strength of character - a true example of how to live by our Navy Core Values. You are a noble warrior, an inspirational leader, and a man of unquestionable integrity."
Filipowski, a long-time friend and mentor, was the commanding officer of NIOC Georgia from 2006-2008 and highly recommended Brokaw as his replacement.
Ultimately through a detailed command selection process, Brokaw was selected in 2012 as the commanding officer for NIOC Georgia for his final tour. Filipowski also praised Brokaw and his wife for their commitment to the Navy and each other.
During Brokaw's tour aboard NIOC Georgia, Sailors deployed throughout the 5th and 6th fleet areas of responsibility amassing more than 49,000 man-days deploying to over 92 air, surface, and submarine platforms and at least 12 countries; have completed 75 individual augmentee in support of numerous operations including Enduring Freedom; were instrumental in 55 missions vital to national security; and was awarded the 2012 and 2013 Rear Admiral March awards for best language training program across the Navy.
"NIOC Georgia Sailors, officers, and civilians, thank you once again for making my last tour, my best tour," said Brokaw. "For the last two years, I have been living my dream. I will never forget you."
Brokaw's final request before relinquishing his command was a resounding "Proud to Serve!" from his crew. Following the thunderous response, Vernazza officially relieved Brokaw. Amid general applause, the new commanding officer addressed the audience.
"Jim, you are truly leaving behind a legacy of leadership." said Vernazza. "To the command, it is a tremendous privilege to lead and serve with you during this exciting time in Information Dominance."
The Navy's change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition in which the crew gives honor and respect to an outgoing commanding officer and welcomes aboard a new commanding officer.
Directly following the change of command, a retirement ceremony was held to honor Brokaw's 41 years of service.
NIOC Georgia is a subordinate command of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and comprises Task Force 1050 of the U.S. 10th Fleet. Based at Fort Gordon, its mission is to provide Information Warfare and Cryptologic expertise and personnel to Fleet Air, Surface, Submarine and Special Warfare Combatants and to provide reachback and extended staff support to U.S. Central Command and U.S. European Command Joint Forces Maritime Component Commanders. NIOC Georgia supports the Global War on Terrorism, operating in a challenging Naval, multi-service, and multinational environment.
For more news from Navy Information Operations Command Georgia, visit www.navy.mil/local/niocg/.