Capt. Cameron J. Geertsema was relieved as Commander, Twenty Second Naval Construction Regiment (22 NCR) by Capt. Kemit W. Spears, during a change of command ceremony held at the Heritage Center on board Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, July 10.
Capt. Peter J. Maculan, Commander, Naval Construction Group TWO (NCG 2) was the guest speaker at the ceremony.
Geertsema assumed command of 22 NCR in July of 2017; he departs to become the Vice Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The ceremony brings an end to a very successful tour for Geertsema. During his tenure, Geertsema improved support to Combined Task Force (CTF) 56 and CTF 68 and established CTF 68.7 to have a forward presence in Rota, Spain all while executing the split of 22 NCR and NCG 2 from a previously merged organization. He provided support to the U.S. Marine Corps during Exercise Trident Juncture 2018 in Norway reviving old relationships and building new ones. He led 22 NCR in Exercise Resolute Castle 2019 as the Command and Control element of a 575-person, joint and multinational engineer force in the Poland and Romania. Geertsema also kept 22 NCR prepared for Defense Support of Civil Authorities support and available capability after Hurricane Florence in the fall of 2018.
According to Maculan, Geertsema was the right officer, in the right job, at the right time.
“When you look at 22 NCR’s accomplishments over the last few years, it’s apparent that under Capt. Geertsema’s leadership your team contributed greatly to the Naval Construction Force and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) all in support of the Fleet,” Maculan said. “Whether here in Gulfport or at locations around the globe, 22 NCR has built a reputation for providing exceptional command and control, driving training improvements tied to readiness, and conducting deployed exercises.”
Spears comes to 22 NCR from NECC in Little Creek, Virginia, where he served as the N3/N5 Operations, Plans and Exercises Assistant Chief of Staff. This Oklahoma native is not a stranger to the Gulf Coast as he is was the commanding officer for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB 1) homeported here in Gulfport, Mississippi from June 2014 to June 2016.
According to Maculan, he believes 22 NCR is gaining a truly great leader in Spears.
“Capt. Spears brings a wealth of experience in both expeditionary and engineering disciplines. He’s served at key positions of leadership. He respects and values his team, and I have no doubt he’ll bring great ideas and enthusiasm to 22 NCR,” Maculan said. “Seabees of 22 NCR, you can feel confident that you’re getting an outstanding new Commodore.
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