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Joint Region Marianas Hosts Change of Command

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100404-05
Release Date: 4/4/2010 9:47:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Peter Lewis, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

AGANA HEIGHTS, Guam (NNS) -- Joint Region Marianas held a change of command ceremony at Guam High School's gymnasium on board U.S. Naval Hospital Guam in Agana Heights, Guam, March 27.

Rear Adm. Paul J. Bushong relieved Rear Adm. Douglass T. Biesel as commander, Joint Region Marianas; U.S. Defense Representative Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau; and commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas.

Guest speaker, Vice Adm. Michael C. Vitale, commander, Navy Installations Command, praised Joint Region Marianas, saying that the command has continued to fulfill its unique military mission.

"I come away from my visits here very energized and with a lasting impression that you have set a standard for all our bases by providing the right programs and services to our many customers, both inside and outside our fences," said Vitale.

He praised Biesel for his commitment to Guam, the Marianas and the military, and his ability to accomplish any task set before him.

"Doug Biesel has led team Marianas to get the job done, no matter what the task," said Vitale. "Thank you for all the marvelous work you have done here in Guam and in region Marianas. The Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense are much better off because of your efforts."

Vitale went on to explain that the job of finding Biesel's replacement was no easy task, and that Bushong was chosen because of his superior leadership and abilities.

"Choosing a perspective commanding officer is no easy task because command doesn't come automatically. You get it by a proven record of excellence, not seniority," said Vitale, to Bushong. "We know that you too are prepared for this challenge and have the capabilities, skill and leadership required."

With a heartfelt good-bye, Biesel thanked all the people of Guam and the Marianas that supported him during his tour.

"Military bases of today depend greatly on the communities in which they reside and support," said Biesel. "I cannot easily express my deep gratitude to all those that support our military. You have all been wonderful. I just can't thank you enough."

Biesel spoke to the Joint Region Marianas crew about striving to continue their history of excellence under their new leadership.

"I must challenge my crew, both military and civilian, to exceed the goals I had set for you and to reach new standards of performance as Admiral Paul Bushong assumes command," said Biesel. "I have no doubt you will excel."

After the reading of the official orders, Bushong said that he was honored and humbled, but also thrilled to be assigned to his new position. He spoke about Guam's uniqueness and the opportunities it presents.

"Guam is a special place in many ways," said Bushong. "Its strategic position in the Western Pacific; its seaport and airport capabilities; its territorial relationship to the United States; its culture; its biodiversity; and its joint region structure along with other items present challenges, but also offer tremendous opportunities. I look forward to working with each of you as we work together to address these challenges in order to unlock the opportunities."

The mission of Joint Region Marianas is to provide executive level installation management support to all Department of Defense components and tenants through assigned regional installations on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in support of training in the Marianas; to act as the interface between the Navy and the civilian community; to ensure compliance with all environmental laws and regulations, safety procedures and equal opportunity policy; and perform other functions and tasks as may be assigned.

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