News: NIOC Misawa changes command
NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan – Cmdr. Michael Elliot relieved Capt. Sean Kelley as Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Misawa commanding officer during a ceremony here, July 10, 2014.
During the ceremony, Kelley commented that his greatest accomplishment was executing the command’s mission and responding to an increased operational tempo, all while transitioning to a new business plan.
“It’s been a pleasure and my honor to command NIOC Misawa and to have been able to work so closely with our Japanese counterparts. It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Kelley, originally from Barnstable, Massachusetts. “I wish Skipper Elliot and the NIOC crew the very best in the days ahead. They are an outstanding team; best of the best.”
Kelley will now transfer back to the U.S. to assume a role at the Pentagon.
Elliot arrives from Yokosuka, Japan where he also currently serves as the commanding officer of NIOC Yokosuka. He will be filling a dual-hatted role until the disestablishment of NIOC Misawa, which is slated to shut down in autumn of 2014.
“Following disestablishment, NIOC Misawa will cease to exist and the UICs (Unit Identification Codes) that represent NIOC Misawa will fold underneath my other command until about the summer of 2015 when the final NIOC Sailor departs Misawa.”
While not officially a detachment of NIOC Yokosuka, NIOC Misawa will essentially function as such. Elliot will still be based out of Yokosuka with the executive officer (XO) and command master chief (CMC) targeted to stay until the summer.
“Right now, the command has roughly 80 Sailors, and as it phases down over the next year, the XO and CMC will both be here through that time,” Elliot said. “That leaves them with seasoned, very capable leadership to make sure that the Sailors and their families are being taken care of.”
Elliot has three goals for the remainder of NIOC Misawa’s existence. The first is to continue providing support to Fleet Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1 during its transition, which will gradually be transferred to Hawaii and Whidbey Island.
The second is to continue the information dominance warfare support for the national mission in the Misawa Security Operations Center (MSOC), which will also be transitioning from a military-civilian team to an all-civilian workforce.
Lastly, he wants to highlight the command’s historical importance dating back it its inception in the early 1970s.
“Though the command is small now, at its height, it was the crystal palace of the information dominance and cryptologic warfare community,” said Elliot. “We have a big job in planning the decommissioning ceremony here that truly celebrates all those Sailors and families that put their blood, sweat, and tears into making this mission happen.
“I’m excited for this opportunity,” added Elliot. “It will be a little different for the Sailors here, but I’ll be up here at least once a month to be able to make sure that the Sailors have access to me.”
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