News: NIOC Misawa changes command
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – Cmdr. Sean Kelley relieved Cmdr. Tyrone Ward as Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Misawa commanding officer during a ceremony here, June 15, 2012.
During the ceremony, Ward specifically commended his personnel for their outstanding work throughout the duration of his tour as commanding officer.
“I consider myself very fortunate because for the two years I was in command, I had a fantastic team of leaders at every level,” said Ward, who originally hails from Rich Square, N.C. “From the executive officer to the most junior seaman apprentice, these sailors are very intelligent and a great, great group to work with.”
As NIOC Misawa commanding officer, Ward’s sailors provided 24-hour Information Warfare support toward a national mission in both the Misawa Security Operations Center (MSOC) and Special U.S. Liaison Activity Korea. During his tour, they deployed more than 8,000 days, conducting worldwide airborne reconnaissance operations in support of theater commanders and combat operations. Ultimately, their efforts helped provide intelligence support to operational commanders engaged in the Global War on Terrorism.
Closer to home, Ward said he is especially proud of the accomplishments his sailors made toward their own professional development.
During his tour, Ward had three sailors chosen for the Limited Duty Officer and Chief Warrant Officer programs, two sailors chosen for the U.S. Naval Academy, and two sailors named as Cyber Forces’ Sailors of the Year.
Additionally, Direct Support sailors earned 18 Naval Aviation Observer qualifications, 17 Naval Aircrew Warfare Specialist qualifications, and 26 Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist qualifications.
But, Ward said he particularly proud of the 45 sailors who qualified as Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialists.
“One of our biggest accomplishments was having certified our Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist program in December 2010,” said Ward, who has more than 21 years of naval experience. “Since then, we have been regularly pinning sailors who earn this challenging and demanding naval warfare designator.”
Also of note, Ward was in command of NIOC Misawa during the Great East Japan Earthquake, March 11, 2011, which triggered an enormous tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeastern seaboard. In the aftermath of such immense destruction, his sailors volunteered more than 2,800 hours of their own personal time in support of numerous humanitarian service projects to help the local populace recover.
"I'm very proud of how our leadership team and crew responded to help our Japanese friends in the aftermath of this devastating event,” said Ward. “Once we verified the safety and security of our crew and families, our sailors were among the first to get out into the local communities to assist with relief and clean up efforts.”
Ward will now transfer to Fort Meade, Md., where he will assume a leadership role within the National Security Agency.
Kelley arrives from Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8 in Norfolk, Va., where he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. The 20-year naval veteran said he is looking forward to getting to work as NIOC Misawa’s commanding officer and continuing the great work of his predecessor.
“In the days ahead, we will work tirelessly - as a team - to continue the fine record of success across all mission areas,” said Kelley, a native of Barnstable, Mass. “This is a terrific time to be serving in the U.S. Navy and specifically, in the Pacific region. As we look to the future, I'm excited about our mission, our people, and our special relationship with the MSOC, the Misawa community, and of course our Japanese partners.”
For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/misawa/index.htm or check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nafmisawa.