U.S. Naval Base Guam Holds Change of Command
SANTA RITA, Guam – U.S. Naval Base Guam held a change of command ceremony at the Tango/Uniform Wharf at the base in Santa Rita June 20.
Capt. Andy Anderson relived Capt. Mike Ward as NBG’s commanding officer (CO).
Retired Navy Cmdr. Matt Miller was the event’s guest speaker and commended Ward for his dedication and excellence he has displayed throughout his naval career.
“Your outgoing CO was and is today a consummate professional who never shied away from doing the hard jobs,” he said.
Miller and Ward served together at several commands including Attack Squadron 75, USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) and most recently at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
Following Miller’s remarks, Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, Commander, Joint Region Marianas, presented Ward with the Legion of Merit for his exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service since taking the helm of NBG in 2012.
“I’m sure he will tell you in his characteristic humility that this award is not for him but it’s for the men and women who serve at Navy Base Guam,” Payne said. “Despite your characteristic humility Mike, I would tell (that) you as a leader of this group, has charted the course and set the tempo, and set the attitude and the atmosphere for great success here at Navy Base Guam.”
During his tour on island, Ward led the base during joint and multinational operations and exercises critical to the 5th and 7th Fleet’s Theater Security Cooperation Strategy and goals. He supported an unprecedented 1,420 ship and submarine visits from the U.S. and our allies, recording more than 3,000 berth days and transferring a total of 25 million gallons of fuel.
He was also responsible for directing several construction programs on NBG that included more than $500 million in both new projects and facility service contracts significantly enhancing the region’s combat readiness and support of the warfighter, fleet and family.
“I try to set the standards but it’s you … executing them that are meeting the great business of installation management and delivering the warfighter support that is so near and dear,” Ward said addressing his installation program directors.
Ward also spoke about his affection of the historical and cultural significance of the base as he hosted several annual events during his tour that welcomed former residents and descendants of Sumay village.
“What I’ve learned most are three things, Guam’s patriotism, rich history and culture, and focus on cooperation and team building,” he said. “For the past 24 months, I’ve had the honor of serving on this beautiful island with my family and I’ve been fortunate to meet truly great Americans.”
Ward will depart Guam and report to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa in Naples, Italy.
Anderson reports to Guam after serving as executive assistant at Navy Recruiting Command in Millington, Tenn.
“It is a humbling honor and privilege to assume command of an installation with the cultural, historical and strategic significance of Naval Base Guam,” he said. “To the men and women of Naval Base Guam, team Guam; I look forward to serving as your installation commander and becoming an active member of the community.”