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Capt. Scott Tasin relieved Capt. Timothy Wilke in front of friends, family members, and MESG-1 personnel as part of an outdoor ceremony at the group’s headquarters.
Wilke took command of MESG-1 in April 2020. Under his leadership, three subordinate Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadrons and one forward-deployed detachment provided critical anti-terrorism and force protection capabilities throughout multiple geographic combatant commands. He also advocated collaboration between the three sea services, resulting in the first Coast Guard-lead Navy Task Group that employed blended Navy and Marine Corps teams.
“The award that was just presented highlighted what was said were my accomplishments while at the helm here, but clearly they are all of our accomplishments,” said Wilke. “…My role in all of this was simply thinking out loud on occasion and perhaps asking a few questions, and then letting you run with these items. You never held back in providing me feedback and you never hesitated on executing your tasking.”
Wilke is retiring from the Navy and expressed gratitude towards all his shipmates over the past 26 years.
“…It has been an absolute honor, the thrill and joy of my life to have served with and lead thousands of Sailors. You and they have made me laugh, cry, worry to no end, feel proud, comforted and protected. I am proud to have served with every one of you and them,” said Wilke.
Keynote speaker, Deputy Commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, Rear Adm. Ted LeClair, said Wilke’s career is summed up by two words: “selfless service.”
LeClair also thanked Wilke and his family for the knowledge and experiences they imparted on other service members over the years.
"It's fitting that we pay tribute to Tim and [wife] Kelly, and their large family. ...I view this ceremony as a shipmate's final gift to all of us,” said LeClair. “One final time we get to learn from them. We get to pause [and] reflect on serving in uniform. But, also renew and confirm our belief in that service."
Tasin used his first address as commander to thank Wilke for his mentorship and service.
“It has been great working for you and the best way I could describe you is that you are a true officer and gentlemen,” said Tasin, who served the past year as MESG-1’s deputy commander.
Tasin also acknowledged the contributions of MESG-1 and its subordinate commands under Wilke.
“We at [MESG-1] will continue to be fascinated by their success,” said Tasin. “…Those Sailors seated beside you have the passion and sense of urgency to ensure our units are ready for major combat operations. We will be ready if and when the fight comes.”
The Maritime Expeditionary Security Force is a core Navy capability which reinforces blue water lethality by protecting port and harbor infrastructure, securing high value assets, and dominating in the littorals with maritime security operations.
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