News: Naval Air Facility Misawa changes command
NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan – Capt. Keith Henry assumed command of U.S. Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa from Capt. Christopher Rodeman during a change of command ceremony here, June 20, 2014.
During the ceremony, Rodeman, who had commanded NAF Misawa since July 8, 2011, took the opportunity to thank his Sailors for their effort over the past three years.
“I am very proud to have had the opportunity to serve as your commanding officer,” said Rodeman, a 26-year Navy veteran, who piloted more than 4,200 flight hours during his career. “I may have joined the Navy to fly, but that's certainly not why I stayed around all these years. I loved this job because it allowed me the opportunity to work with you, and serve as your commanding officer. I am very proud of what we accomplished together.”
During his tenure, Rodeman led NAF Misawa to a renaissance or sorts, as deployed squadrons resumed operating out of NAF Misawa for the first time since 2007. Both Patrol Squadrons and Electronic Attack Squadrons are currently operating from the northern Japan-located U.S. naval installation, and Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft will also spend time in Misawa before the summer has concluded.
“NAF Misawa and its Sailors are versatile and adaptable to whatever mission they’re called upon to handle,” said Rodeman. Regardless of incident or event, they are ready to make an impact.”
As Rodeman closed out his speech, he also had a few words of encouragement for Henry.
“Captain Henry, you are going to love Misawa. And I think you're exactly the right person for the job,” said Rodeman. “Your broad experience as a leader, at sea and ashore, and as an aviator, as well as your strong family ties to Japan, virtually guarantees success.”
Rodeman now transfers to the National War College in Washington D.C., where he will serve as a faculty member.
Henry arrives from U.S. 7th Fleet, where he performed the duties as the Air and Missile Defense Officer. Prior to that, he served as the USS George Washington’s (CVN 73) Air Boss.
Originally from Cheshire, Connecticut, Henry brings 23 years of Navy experience with him, and has previously commanded Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 192. During his tenure as VFA-192 commanding officer, the “Golden Dragons” completed three cruises on two ships, conducted a homeport change to Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, and earned the 2009 Battle “E” Award.
Henry said he’s looking forward to building upon the great foundation that Rodeman leaves behind.
“I’m inheriting a wonderful command, with outstanding Sailors who make an impact each and every day,” said Henry. “I eagerly look forward to carrying out the command’s mission, while also working alongside our Japan Self-Defense Force counterparts.
"I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to raise my family here in northern Japan, and we’ll enjoy getting to know our neighbors in the local community.”
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