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    Naval Air Station Sigonella Holds Change of Command Ceremony

    Naval Air Station Sigonella Holds Change of Command Ceremony

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Josh Cote | 220429-N-UJ449-1262 NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy (April 29, 2022)— Capt. Kevin...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Drake Greer 

    Naval Air Station Sigonella

    Capt. Aaron Shoemaker relieved Capt. Kevin Pickard Jr. as Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella during a Change of Command ceremony onboard NAS Sigonella (Aeroporto Aernoautica Militare di Sigonella) on Thursday, April 29, 2022.

    Rear Adm. Scott Gray, commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) served as keynote speaker and praised Pickard for his hard work throughout his tenure.

    “Naval Air Station Sigonella has had quite a few unique challenges, and each time you and your team have risen to the occasion – I couldn’t be prouder of the work you all have done here,” said Gray. “As ‘The Hub of the Mediterranean’, your ability to execute the mission quickly, strongly, and efficiently has ensured our effectiveness and resilience.”

    Pickard credited his staff of Sailors and civilians for overcoming the many challenges finding new solutions to increase their support to the fleet.

    “I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. In my time as commanding officer of Naval Air Station Sigonella, I have seen our community come together during some of the most difficult and challenging times in recent memory, and more than that, I’ve seen this base become an exemplar of service in ways both big and small. My goal has always been to leave any place I serve a little bit better, and thanks to this supportive, complex, and collaborative community, I can say that we succeeded. Sigonella, I could not be prouder to have served with you.”

    Pickard has served as the Commanding Officer of NAS Sigonella since April 2019. His next assignment will be as the Chief of Staff for Commander, Navy Region Northwest in Bangor, Wash. beginning in June 2022. Pickard’s command tour at NAS Sigonella strengthened strategic partnerships and reinforced Sigonella’s critical role as the “Hub of the Med,” the U.S. military’s primary logistics base in the Mediterranean. His tour was marked by significant achievements including safely continuing critical U.S. and NATO operations in the COVID-19 environment and serving as a central support base for evacuees from Afghanistan during Operation Allies Refuge.

    Also during his tenure NAS Sigonella served as the operational base for Exercise Dynamic Manta, won four consecutive Capt. Edward F. Ney Awards for best overseas galley, and earned the top “Crystal” status for their Housing Department’s customer satisfaction. NAS Sigonella supports, European Command, Navy Central Command, Africa Command, U.S. FIFTH and SIXTH Fleet units, and NATO forces in the Mediterranean.

    Shoemaker said he looked forward to command of the “Hub of the Med” and highlighted the importance of the base.

    "The deploying and tenant commands that we support from Sigonella are literally on the front lines of the defense to both our nation and our fellow alliance partners,” said Shoemaker. “Although a defining characteristic may be our geographic location, our strength resides in our people, the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines and dedicated civilians who serve on this base."

    NAS Sigonella is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be when and where they are needed to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.

    For more news from NAS Sigonella follow us on facebook at or visit or find us on Google at “NAS Sigonella.”



    Date Taken: 04.29.2022
    Date Posted: 04.29.2022 09:05
    Story ID: 419600
    Location: SIGONELLA, IT 
    Hometown: BROKEN ARROW, OK, US

    Web Views: 159
    Downloads: 2