SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Navy Information Operations Command San Diego (NIOC SD) welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command held aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Midway, July 20.
Cmdr. Robert C. Cadena relived Cmdr. Sherri R. Zimmerman during the ceremony, presided by Capt. Joseph "Huckleberry" Finn, NIOC Norfolk's commanding officer, along with guest speaker Capt. John Watkins, Naval Warfighting Development Center's commanding officer.
While serving as NIOC SD's commanding officer, Zimmerman led more than 350 military and civilian staff members, providing cyber operations, information operations (IO) and electronic warfare (EW) to naval and joint forces while also improving IO, EW, cryptologic and cyber readiness through Fleet training, assessment and augmentation.
During the ceremony, Finn highlighted the numerous accomplishments achieved under Zimmerman's leadership to include the Retention Excellence Award in calendar years 2016 and 2017; the 2016 Association of Old Crows Outstanding Navy Unit Shore Award; and the 2017 Department of Navy Information Management/ Information Technology Excellence Team Award, in addition to numerous individual awards and promotions.
"I want to tell you they [NIOC SD Sailors] are the finest team of professionals I've had the pleasure of working with in my 20 years of service," said Zimmerman. "They are an amazing group of professionals who allowed me to wake-up every morning excited about coming to work whose everyday tasks ensure our Navy networks are functioning and secure, that we can face conflict and maintain command and control and provide non-lethal adversaries without leaving our forces vulnerable. I'm in awe of my teammates."
While praising her command, Zimmerman made note of the military and reflected upon her time on active-duty service, noting the camaraderie, mentorship and experiences she's acquired over the past two decades.
"The military is a great equalizer," said Zimmerman. "It's not the background that we come from that makes us successful, not where we went to high school or college, but the hard work, dedication, integrity, motivation and desire to improve ourselves and those around us that makes the difference."
Zimmerman's retirement ceremony was held directly after the change of command.
Upon Cadena assuming command, he addressed the crowd, thanking his family and friends for their attendance; he then took a moment to speak directly to the NIOC SD team.
"Throughout my career as a Navy cryptologist, I've heard about the superb reputation of this command and what you bring to the Fleet," said Cadena. "As we mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, where Navy cryptology played a pivotal role, our command continues to honor that rich heritage by meeting today's challenges while preparing the Pacific Fleet for tomorrow. Many of our guests here today may never know what you do but it's about the endeavor and not the glory. You have much to be proud of and I'm thrilled to join your team today."
Cadena's Navy career began as an enlisted Sailor, serving his first tour as a nuclear-trained machinist mate aboard the USS Birmingham (SSN 695). In 1998, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles through the Enlisted Commissioning Program and entered into the Navy flight-training program upon commissioning. His IW career commenced when he was re-designated as a cryptologist and assigned to Naval Station Group Activity Fort Meade, Maryland. He most recently served as the executive officer of NIOC Maryland.
NIOC SD, administratively aligned to Naval Information Forces, was established July 2005, merging Fleet Information Warfare Center Detachment San Diego and Naval Security Group Activity San Diego. In its brief history, NIOC SD has provided highly skilled Information Warfare (IW) augmentees to deploying naval units and Naval Special Warfare, maintained cryptologic equipment, developed IW doctrine and tactics, and pioneered defensive computer support throughout the Navy and Marine Corps.
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