GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. "Buz" Buzby assumed command of Joint Task Force - Guantanamo, relieving Navy Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris during a change of command ceremony here May 22.
Commander U.S. Southern Command Adm. James G. Stavridis attended the event, bidding a farewell to Harris and extending a warm welcome to Buzby. Stavridis emphasized the importance of the JTF-Guantanamo mission.
"What you do here is of crucial importance to the global war on terror[ism]," said Stavridis. "I am proud of you and I believe you do your jobs in a transparent and humane way, and it's crucially important that you continue to do that.
Harris thanked the service members serving at Guantanamo.
"I am honored to have served with men and women for whom integrity and honor are a way of life," he said. "Our mission here is bigger than any one of us, but, by working together and taking care of each other, you have accomplished amazing things."
Buzby's remarks to his new troops were brief.
"I pledge to you that I will be the very best commander that I can be, every minute of every day," said Buzby. "I only ask that you continue to display the strength, courage and professionalism that enables this to command to execute so safely, humanely and so honorably."
Harris, who commanded JTF-Guantanamo for a year, will assume responsibilities as director of operations, U.S. Southern Command in Miami.
Prior to assuming command of JTF-Guantanamo, Buzby served on the staff of the chief of Naval Operations as deputy director for Expeditionary Warfare.
JTF-Guantanamo conducts safe and humane care and custody of detained enemy combatants. The task force also conducts interrogation operations to collect strategic intelligence in support of the global war on terrorism and supports law enforcement and war crimes investigations.
For more news from Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/gitmo/.