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Camp Lemonier Welcomes New Commanding Officer

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070628-03
Release Date: 6/28/2007 7:58:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Pineda, Naval Support Activity Bahrain Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- Capt. Robert Fahey was relieved by Capt. John Heckmann in a change of command ceremony at Camp Lemonier on June 7.

The ceremony marked the end of a yearlong tour as the camp’s commanding officer for Fahey, the fist Navy officer to take command of the camp and to supervise its transition from a Marine Corps expeditionary base to a Navy camp.

The ceremony was attended by honorary speaker U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Deputy Commander Rear Adm. Scott Swift and Commander, Navy Region Southwest Asia (CNRSWA) Capt. Mark Deardurff.

During his speech, Swift commented on the importance of Fahey’s accomplishments.

“To understand the significance of Captain Fahey’s tour, you have to put into context how important our work is here in the region,” he said.

“When Captain Fahey assumed command, he said his number one priority would be the expansion of the camp. At the time, the base encompassed 88 acres with the majority of personnel living or working in tents. Today the base has grown to 500 acres, tents are being replaced with permanent structures, and a five-year lease has been signed with the government of Djibouti with an option to extend,” he continued.

Swift went on to reemphasize the importance and purpose of the joint command mission in Djibouti.

“We are sending a powerful message and an enduring message, to the people of the Horn of Africa that says 'You are important and valued by the team of diversity assembled here -- a team of Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, diplomats, coalition partners, and committed citizens from around the world,'” said Swift.

Following Swift’s speech, CNRSWA presented Fahey with the Legion of Merit as his end of tour award. Afterward, Fahey took the podium and gave his farewell speech.

“I want to say thank you to all the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have helped us to perform our mission,” said Fahey. “You have made this a great tour and helped many people on the continent of Africa.”

Camp Lemonier is a joint service, forward deployed base located in Djibouti, Africa. The camp falls under the Commander, Navy Region Southwest Asia and Central Command/5th Fleet area of responsibility.



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