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Naval Air Facility Misawa Changes Command

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110708-02

From Naval Air Facility Misawa Public Affairs

MISAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa, Japan, held a change of command ceremony in Misawa July 8.

Capt. James D. Haugen was relieved by Capt. Christopher A. Rodeman as commander of NAF Misawa.

During the ceremony, Haugen commended his personnel for their outstanding work throughout his tour as commanding officer.

"It has truly been a humbling experience to lead such an accomplished and dedicated team of Sailors, civilians and Japanese employees," said Haugen, a 26-year Navy veteran and native of Seattle who had commanded NAF Misawa since July 2008.

"The men and woman of Naval Air Facility Misawa have made this the most rewarding tour of my career," said Haugen. "From my first day in the job until my last, they have shown a commitment to the mission and to their shipmates that has withstood every test."

He specifically cited their efforts following the March 11 9.0-magnitude earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami, devastating the eastern Japanese seaboard.

"Overcoming power outages, 20-hour work days and constant concern over the safety of their families, the NAF Misawa team excelled in every aspect of the dynamic recovery efforts that followed," said Haugen.

Haugen will report to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he will serve as both the school's Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Program commanding officer and the professor of naval science.

Arriving from Pearl Harbor, Rodeman brings 23 years of Navy experience with him. After previously serving as special assistant to Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, he will now serve as commanding officer of the U.S. facility located in northern Japan.

Originally from Anderson, Ind., this is Rodeman's third tour in Japan and previously served aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 14 executive officer from 2005 to 2007 and as commanding officer from 2007 to 2008.

During the ceremony, Rodeman thanked Haugen for turning over a successful and dedicated command.

"Your committed and inspiring leadership of this facility has set an example that I intend to follow," said Rodeman. "The course you have plotted and steered for NAF Misawa is a good one, and I see no reason for rudder orders."

Rodeman also had some words for the Sailors and civilians he'll command and work alongside with.

"Your reputation as a world-class team precedes you, whether in the performance of your day-to-day mission, or in aftermath of the great east Japan earthquake," said Rodeman. "I am looking forward to getting to know all of you better over the next three years."

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