VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command (NEIC) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station Oceana Nov. 22.
Cmdr. Benjamin Snell relieved Capt. Joe J. Johnson as commanding officer of NEIC.
“Today we recognize your (NEIC’s) outstanding achievements over the last few years as your new leader takes the helm,” said Adm. Bill Gortney, commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command, guest speaker at the ceremony.
During the ceremony Gortney presented NEIC with the Meritorious Unit Commendation award for meritorious service from Jan. 1, 2010, to March 31, 2013.
Under Johnson’s command NEIC saved lives of U.S. aid personnel and Afghan government officials, halted improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, seized over $80 million in narcotics and 30 tons of weapons linked to terrorist organizations.
Gortney said, as commander, Johnson executed NEIC’s mission with pride and professionalism, and that he is confident Snell will support the mission just as well.
“I have no doubt that you’ll uphold the standards that were exemplified by NEIC’s outstanding outgoing commander, Joe Johnson,” said Gortney. “I can think of no finer officer to take over this wonderful command.”
Upon assuming command Snell spoke highly of Johnson as well as NEIC and its sailors.
“You have much to be proud of; the bar has been set high,” said Snell. “I could not ask for a better command to be a part of. I’m humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead you.”
Snell joined the Navy in 1982 and was commissioned in 1995 after graduating from the Navy Officer Candidate School. He was designated as a Naval Intelligence officer in 1996. Since then, Snell has spent the majority of his operational career deploying to, and operating in, the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. He has served four tours in the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces regions; served as Deputy Intelligence Officer to Carrier Strike Group Ten aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75); as Air Intelligence Officer aboard Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4); and as Deputy Executive Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, as well as many other leadership assignments.
NEIC capabilities give expeditionary, maritime, joint and combined forces timely, relevant and actionable intelligence to deny the enemy sanctuary, freedom of movement, and use of waterborne lines of communication while enabling friendly forces to find, fix and destroy the enemy within the operation environment.