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NCMB 21 Passed the Baton in a Change of Command Ceremony

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071030-01
Release Date: 10/30/2007 9:08:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ron Kuzlik, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 21 Public Affairs

LAKEHURST, N.J. (NNS) -- The baton at Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 21 was passed aboard the battalion's readiness support site at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, N.J., Oct. 20.

Cmdr. George D. Steffen relieved Cmdr. Alan Flenner as commanding officer, NMCB 21 in a change-of-command ceremony.

At the ceremony, Capt. Scott Weikert, former commodore, 7th Naval Construction Regiment, applauded both men for their past accomplishments, and provided guidance for the future.

"Go forth and prepare yourselves mentally, physically and academically to meet the inevitable challenges that lie ahead," he said. "But also position yourselves to contribute to the strategic debate, and steer the Naval Construction Force on the right course in the future."

In his parting remarks to the "Blackjacks" of NMCB 21, Flenner summarized, "As a battalion, we have sought new and more innovative training opportunities. We learned many lessons and have passed on this knowledge to other battalions, enabling them and Seabees in general to be successful."

Capt. Joseph J. Albanese, commodore, 7th Naval Construction Regiment, presented Flenner with the Meritorious Service Medal (Gold Star in Lieu of Second Award) on behalf of the Commander, 1st Naval Construction Division "for outstanding meritorious achievement as Commanding Officer, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 21 from October 2005 to September 2007."

During his tenure, Flenner oversaw the mobilization of two Heavy Air Detachments to Kuwait and Afghanistan, in which nearly 60 percent of the entire battalion was deployed. He was cited for "his dynamic leadership that transformed his battalion into a mobilization-ready unit in preparation for deployments in support of the navy's mission."

Prior to assuming command of NMCB 21, Steffen was deputy training officer, 1st Naval Construction Division.

Flenner will report to Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Washington, as Reserve Component Inspector General.

NMCB 21 is based at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst with detachments at Navy Operational Support Centers in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Its mission is to train for mobilization and construction operations in support of Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.



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