NORFOLK-- Command of Naval Station Norfolk (NNS) changed hands during a change of command ceremony held on the installation Aug. 2.
Capt. David Culler relieved Capt. Mary Jackson as commander, NNS.
Culler, a second generation Naval Aviator, was commissioned in 1988. Prior to his arrival as executive officer of Naval Station Norfolk, he was assigned to the Supreme Allied Command Transformation as the Counter Improvised Explosive Device Integrated Product Team Leader in support of training, education and doctrine development for NATO and Troop Contributing Nations.
During her speech, Jackson praised Culler.
“He is well versed in the up-tempo, diversity and volume of this installation,” said Jackson. “He is leagues better than me, and will take our processes and mission accomplishment to the next level.”
Culler and Jackson worked together during Jackson’s tenure as commanding officer, establishing the present NNS mission and he is dedicated to continuing the standard of excellence the installation has achieved.
“NNS is committed to the safety, security, and continuous improvement in the quality of life and quality of service to our war fighters and their families,” said Culler. “Failure is never an option.”
Culler said his goal and challenge as commanding officer is to frequent the numerous commands housed on the installation.
“Getting around more and visiting with the number of commands onboard Naval Station Norfolk is challenging due to the size and scope of the installation,” said Culler. “but is critically important to understanding where we need to improve our services in order to better support the fleet, war fighters and their families.”
Jackson took command of the world’s largest naval base in 2010, becoming the first female commanding officer of NNS. She will be reporting to Navy Region Mid-Atlantic to serve as the Chief of Staff.
Jackson was awarded the Legion of Merit for her exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as executive and commanding officer, NNS, from April 2009 to August 2012.
Rear Adm. Townsend Alexander, commander, Navy region Mid-Atlantic, commended Jackson on her remarkable work during her time as commanding officer and welcomed her as his chief of staff.
“Her vision and energy have left Naval Station Norfolk more ready, more relevant and more vital than ever before,” said Alexander.
Jackson said, although a challenging position, she was extremely honored and humbled to be afforded this opportunity.
“Since 1917, only 43 people have taken command of NNS,” said Jackson. “I can now truly appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears committed to ensuring a place like NNS runs as seamlessly as possible.”
NNS houses the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces, and its 75 ships and 134 aircraft support European and Central Command theaters of operations, and to the Caribbean.