MANGILAO, Guam (NNS) -- Joint Region Marianas (JRM) held a change of command ceremony at the Father Duenas Memorial School Phoenix Center in Mangilao, Guam, Jan. 27.
Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield relieved Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar as commander, JRM; U.S. Defense representative for Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of Palau; commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas; and commander, Task Force West.
Former U.S. Senator and former Secretary of the Navy James Webb was the keynote speaker and praised Bolivar for her exceptional leadership during her time at the command from August 2014 to January 2017.
"What we are doing right now is following a long line of military tradition that says to the world that we are continuity, and the people may rotate, but the continuity will not rotate," he said. "Bette, you inspire people by your expertise, you inspire people by your personal example, and you inspire people by your loyalty."
U.S. Pacific Command Deputy Commander, Lt. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield, presented Bolivar with the Defense Superior Service Medal and highlighted her many accomplishments, including advancing efforts for the pending Marine Corps buildup, the Divert Programmatic Agreement, and spearheading the One Guam outreach program which engaged military and local leadership.
"Our joint forces stationed here on this island serve as America's sentinel to the Indo-Asia-Pacific," he said. "Some of America's most capable forces -- heavy bombers, fighters, THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), attack submarines, and Navy SEALs remain here in Guam ever watchful and prepared to tackle the variety of challenges that exist in this region. Under her command, Joint Region Marianas and our forces stationed right here in Guam have much to be proud of."
During her remarks, Bolivar thanked the military and local communities for their partnership during her tour on island.
"To the JRM, Andersen [Air Force Base], and Naval Base Guam 'familia,' wherever the path of life takes me I know I will never find another group of highly-skilled, passionate, and dedicated professionals such as you all," she said. "To the people of Guam, there are no words that can even begin to express my gratitude for opening your homes, inviting us into your lives, and calling us your family. I will never forget you and in my heart you will all remain."
Bolivar will report to her new assignment as commander, Navy Region Southeast.
Chatfield reports to Guam after serving as the U.S. deputy military representative to the NATO Military Community in Brussels, Belgium.
"It was my previous experience on Guam, the operational importance of the infrastructure and units assigned here, and the relevant work to be done that caused me to seek this assignment," she said. "It feels good to come home to Guam."
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