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    U.S. Naval Medical Readiness Training Command Sigonella Conducts Change of Command

    U.S. NMRTC Sigonella Conducts Change of Command Ceremony

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Kegan Kay | 200619-N-OX321-1115 SIGONELLA, Italy (June 19, 2020) -- Capt. Denise M. Gechas salutes...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Naval Medical Forces Atlantic

    NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy (June 26, 2020) – U.S. Naval Medical Readiness Training Command (NMRTC) Sigonella held an unconventional change of command ceremony on June 19. Due to current COVID-19 concerns, the ceremony was conducted with a limited audience via video tele-conferencing and Facebook live stream.

    During the ceremony, Capt. Denise M. Gechas relieved Capt. William E. Todd to assume the duties and responsibilities as commanding officer of U.S. NMRTC Sigonella, U.S. Naval Medical Readiness Training Unit (NMRTU) Bahrain, and U.S. NMRTU Souda Bay.

    Rear Adm. Anne M. Swap, commander, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic, located in Portsmouth, Virginia, virtually presided over the ceremony. In her remarks, Swap spoke about Todd’s many accomplishments, including leading his command through the COVID-19 pandemic, and his impact on mission readiness.

    "You have handled all the added stressors with poise," said Swap. "Decisions you made supported not only the local Navy personnel here in Sigonella, but also those in Crete and Bahrain. You took this responsibility seriously, and you carried it out paying close attention to how it affected our sailors, our patients, and our families.”

    Swap added, “I don’t want COVID-19 to overshadow your other tremendous accomplishments. You created the first overseas training command site for the Tactical Combat Casualty Care course. You revolutionized virtual tele-health services, and expanded virtual specialty care services, all while overseeing a new construction project in Bahrain.”
    In his remarks, Todd praised his command’s approach to the changes and challenges during his tenure as commanding officer.

    "I have but one word to say when I think of you, and that is ‘wow’. What you have attained in two years is astounding," said Todd. "You took a 48 hour mass casualty drill and evolved that into a pandemic response that was second to none."

    He added, “Most importantly, you learned how to trust one another and to realize that support comes from up and down the chain of command. Your performance was and is magnificent. You truly have made a difference where that difference matters.”

    Upon assuming command, Gechas thanked her family for their support and praised Todd and the entire U.S. NMRTC enterprise for their exceptional success.

    "The evidence of this command’s success is all around me. Your exceptional response to the local pandemic that we’re currently facing and your ability to quickly adjust to an ever-changing care environment is truly remarkable, and is a prime example of how the people represent the power of Navy medicine," said Gechas.

    "Becoming a commanding officer has its own inherent challenges even when there isn’t a pandemic to contend with, but it is clear to me that I am inheriting an outstanding organization comprised of real health care support heroes. I cannot wait to write the next chapters of our command’s history with you all."

    U.S. NMRTC Sigonella is a community hospital located in the heart of the Mediterranean in Sicily, Italy. It’s comprised of a local satellite clinic and two branch health clinics located in Bahrain and Greece.



    Date Taken: 06.26.2020
    Date Posted: 06.30.2020 14:07
    Story ID: 373116
    Location: SIGONELLA, IT 

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