SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Collin Green relieved Rear Adm. Tim Szymanski as commander, Naval Special Warfare Command (CNSWC) during a Sept. 7 change of command ceremony at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.
Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, and Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran were guest speakers at the ceremony.
During opening remarks, Moran stressed that there is no richer pool of leadership in our Navy than the leadership teams that are formed as part of the NSW force.
"We are so fortunate not only to have had Tim Szymanski running the show…, and now he is being relieved by another terrific leader in Collin Green,” Moran said.
“We have enormous confidence in these two leaders and it’s because of the leadership depth on the bench that exists on this team."
A career SEAL officer, Szymanski previously served as assistant commanding general to Joint Special Operations Command; deputy commanding general sustainment to Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan/NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan; and commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 2 among other assignments.
Szymanski highlighted how the National Defense Strategy guided his tenure as the commander. “It’s all about the warfighter in Special Operations. It’s a team sport working on all the initiatives we have underway [to take care of our people],” Szymanski said. “We’ve got to make our warfighter tougher, more ready than they already are. We have to make our capabilities even better to get after that near-peer competition.”
Szymanski's time at CNSWC was marked by a profound commitment to taking care of his personnel and families, and aggressive efforts to focus on innovation and force optimization to maintain the highest level of warfighting readiness. Thomas said he was impressed by Szymanski’s efforts to research and implement a neurocognitive health baseline of the NSW force and advance operational capabilities at a greater speed relevant to the pace of technology in order to outpace our adversaries.
"Over the past few years, I’ve also been impressed by the profound commitment you’ve demonstrated in taking care of your people, our most precious asset. NSW’s human-capital enterprise is arguably the industry standard for SOCOM," Thomas said.
“[To the force] I charge you to do your best, today is not tomorrow,” Szymanski said as one final challenge to NSW. “Tomorrow is going to be tougher… and we’re only as good as our last game.”
Szymanski was relieved by Green, who most recently served as commander of U.S. Special Operations Command South. Other notable command assignments include SEAL Team 3, Naval Special Warfare Task Group – Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Naval Special Warfare Unit 3 and Naval Special Warfare Group 1.
Green said he was honored to take command of CNSWC from Szymanski.
"I’m grateful to take command from a leader who is deeply respected by all and has served as a mentor and a friend to me for many years," Green said. “Tim really embodies competence and character more than anybody I’ve ever served with, and I’d add a genuine care and concern for troops and families which has always been a hallmark of his leadership.”
NSW is comprised of approximately 10,000 personnel, including more than 2,900 active-duty SEALs, 780 special warfare combatant-craft crewmen, 748 reserve personnel, 4,000 support personnel and more than 1,250 civilians.
CNSWC in San Diego leads the Navy's special operations force and is maritime component of United States Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida. Naval Special Warfare groups command, train, equip and deploy NSW squadrons to meet the exercise, contingency and wartime requirements of the regional combatant commanders, theater special operations commands and numbered fleets located around the world.