DAM NECK, Va. (NNS) -- Cmdr. Ben Snell was relieved by Cmdr. Danielle Lukich during a Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command (NEIC) change of command ceremony in Dam Neck, Virginia, June 22.
Retired Adm. Bill Gortney, former commander, U.S. Fleet Forces served as the guest speaker, emphasizing the significant impact and intelligence value Snell and his command has had on the Navy and nation.
"Commanders overseas recognize the value this command provides to the fleet," said Gortney, who added he was lucky to have worked with the outgoing commander on three previous occasions. "I learned I really liked the guy because he had a pretty intense work ethic and he delivered a high-quality product."
Gortney also welcomed Lukich as incoming commanding officer of NEIC and spoke directly to her family.
"She's taking command; this is not an assumption of the chairman of a board, this is the not a president of a company; this is the commanding officer of a command charged with a real mission, with real purpose and real people and she is responsible for everything that team does," said Gortney. "It's the ultimate test of authority and responsibility."
Snell, who served as NEIC's commanding officer from November 2013 to June 2016 oversaw the manning, training, and equipping of 300 active-duty Sailors, civilians, contractors and reserve officers and enlisted Sailors during his tenure.
NEIC serves as the Navy's only operational intelligence command, providing intelligence support to fleet commanders from six geographic combatant commands.
"It has been a distinct honor to serve as the commanding officer of Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command and lead the talented men and women who deploy worldwide and contribute to our nation's safety," said Snell.
While in command, NEIC was formally recognized by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) with the Department of Defense Human Intelligence Collection Team (OVERT) award for intelligence support performed in 2014.
In addition to receiving accolades from the DIA, NEIC has had other operational successes to include apprehension of high-value individuals, operations against high-priority targets in the maritime domain, identification and deterrence of foreign intelligence threats to DoD equities, and identification and tracking of transnational organized crime to name a few.
Lukich, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is the sixth commanding officer of NEIC since its establishment in 2007 and looks forward to assuming command of NEIC.
"I truly am amazed with the global reach of NEIC and look forward to leading the talented intelligence professionals assigned to Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command, and appreciate the contributions made by Cmdr. Snell during his tenure," said Lukich, who graduated high school from Gull Lake, Michigan, with her extended family residing in Orange, Ohio.
NEIC's mission is to provide tactical force protection, indications and warning intelligence enabling joint force maritime component and Navy component commanders to conduct missions across the full spectrum of expeditionary and major combat operations.
NEIC serves a component of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is an enduring warfighting force providing sea-to-shore and inland operating environment capabilities across the full range of military operations that is focused on delivering combat effective expeditionary forces ready for worldwide operations now and into the future.
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