U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) held a change of command ceremony at the Tango/Uniform wharf at the base in Santa Rita June 20.
Capt. Andy Anderson relieved Capt. Mike Ward as NBG’s commanding officer (CO).
Retired Navy Cmdr. Matt Miller was the events 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, Washington.
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, 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 war fighter, fleet and family.
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, Tennessee.
Press Release, June 23, 2014; Image: US Navy