SUITLAND, Md (NNS) -- The Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center changed hands Dec. 15 during a change of command ceremony at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).
Capt. Copley relieved Capt. Doug Peabody as Commanding Officer, and is the fourth commanding officer to lead the Kennedy Center, an Echelon III Command established in 2009.
The center is responsible for delivering maritime intelligence and operational support to the Navy, Department of Defense, national decision makers, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) and Navy Expeditionary Warfare Command (NECC).
A 1988 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Copley has served in 10 intelligence assignments at sea and ashore, most recently at the Center of Naval Intelligence, where he developed the course curriculum for the Advanced Maritime Operational Intelligence Course.
"I am excited to join this team of professionals because you are engaged forward, defending our nation," Copley told members of the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center. "Our operational forces depend on the products and services you provide. Our mission is not easy, nor one where many will say 'thanks,' but rest assured knowing that when our naval forces are successful, we are successful."
Upon taking leave of the Kennedy Center, Peabody was awarded the Legion of Merit. He thanked the men and women of the command for their diligence and devotion.
"Most people will never know everything these analysts have done or been involved with," said Peabody. "No matter what the churn is around us, the mission is our focus."
Capt. Robert Rupp, commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence, emphasized the vital role the Kennedy Center plays in meeting the Navy's global challenges.
"It is your task to help the United States Navy control and protect the seas," said Rupp. "Whether Kennedy Center personnel are operating deep within a contested area or providing exquisite intelligence from here at ONI, Sailors will be operating forward, and they will depend on the Kennedy Center's deep knowledge of the adversary and deep understanding of the operating environment."
At the ceremony's conclusion, Copley formally assumed command of the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center, opening a new chapter in the long history of ONI.
Established in 1882, the Office of Naval Intelligence is the nation's longest-serving intelligence agency.
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