News: It's all business as Navy commander takes over during transfer of authority
Story by Spc. Maurice Galloway
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq — Cmdr. Byran M. Cochran, U.S. Navy, Task Group 56.4 assumed command of U.S. Naval operations in Basra province from Cmdr. Patrick T. Britt, U.S. Navy, RIVRON Two, in a transfer of authority ceremony on COB Basra, Nov. 15.
As the boatswain's mate rang the bell to announce the arrival of the official party, Col. Steven L. Bullimore, 17th Fires Brigade, commanding officer of U.S. military operations in Basra province took to the stage followed by Britt and finally Cochran.
After the invocation given by Lt. Jeff Augustin, chaplain, U.S. Navy RIVRON Three, Bullimore approached the podium and commended RIVRON Two on their contribution of securing the waterways in southern Iraq and to the successful completion of their mission.
"Personally, and I think I speak for much of the team on this, we are going to miss RIVRON Two," said Bullimore. "Cmdr. Britt and Master Chief Lees, your attitude and work ethic have impacted the entire Brigade task force. You have been an integral part of our team and a real game changer in Basra province."
Bullimore commented on RIVRON Two's adaptability and intuition as key components to the substantial reduction of miscreant's attempts of indirect fire in the southern tip of Iraq.
The thunderbolt commander closed his sincere remarks on the well earned rest and reset that commander Britt's Riverines will be shortly enjoying.
"Ty Britt, the exceptional work that you and your sailors have performed in such a short period of time, is well deserving of all the accolades that come your way," Bullimore said. "But what I appreciated most was your gung ho attitude and energetic methods in approaching every mission; those were infectious to everyone who came in contact with RIVRON."
The 17th FB commander spoke of developing the same great relationship with Cochran and his sailors as they conduct operations on the Basrah waterways.
Bitter sweet was the feeling expressed by RIVRON Two's commander as he delivered his final remarks as commanding officer of naval operations in Basra province.
"It's another 'Great' day to be a Riverine," said the Brandon, Miss., native.
The phase was made infamous by the RIVRON commander in each of his update briefs with the commander of the 17th FB.
"We approached this assignment to Basrah province with great anticipation," he said. "Not knowing the area or what would be required of our team contributed to excitement of the assignment."
Britt joked about the how frequently the RIVRON name was confused, being called 'RiverOn'. He also teased that the key to gaining acceptance in Army community was to work the term 'HOOAH' in to every conversation at least five times.
"It has been an honor and privilege to serve side by side with an Army unit that is as professional as they are competent," said Britt. "We wish the continued success of the 17th FB in their mission to increase the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces and interdict the counter insurgency efforts of militants.
In his closing statements Britt addressed the incoming commander noting his clear vision and focused determination as an indication of success.
"Bryan, you have a great team and it is our honor to share the name 'RIVERINE' with your guys," said Britt. "It's clear you came in with a passion for the mission, I'm confident that same passion will lead to a more stable and secure environment in Iraq.
Britt took the opportunity to invite Bullimore back up to podium to present him with a wooden plaque in remembrance of RIVRON Two and as the two gentlemen returned to their seats; the master of ceremonies welcomed Cochran to the stage.
RIVRON Squadron 2 will be returning to port in Virginia Beach, Va. after completing a seven month tour in southern Iraq. RIVRON 3 home ported out of Yorktown, Va.