Story by LT Karl Schonberg on 04/04/2019SIGONELLA, Italy -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella held a change of command ceremony aboard the installation April 4.
Capt. Kevin Pickard Jr. relieved Capt. Brent Trickel as the commanding officer of NAS Sigonella, often referred to as the "Hub of the Med."
Rear Adm. Rick Williamson, commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) served as keynote speaker and praised Trickel for his hard work throughout his tenure.
"The change of command we commemorate today carries with it the same requirement to assume responsibility for what is placed in your care," said Williamson. "Captain Brent Trickel has demonstrated that responsibility. In a challenging and demanding environment, he put his nose to the grindstone and got to work. He shouldered the burden of responsibility, accountability, and authority and led from the front."
Trickel credited the many commands, service members, and civilians for working together to overcome some of the challenges during his tenure at NAS Sigonella.
Of one particularly challenging scenario, Trickel remarked "It was an extremely tough and frustrating dilemma, but Sigonella, your response was amazing. You could have flooded me with negativity and complaints, but you didn't. Instead, you came together and helped each other out."
Trickel served as the commanding officer of NAS Sigonella since May 2016 and will report to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in April 2019.
During his command tour at NAS Sigonella, he successfully led the installation during its support to Operations Dynamic Manta and Odyssey Resolve which highlighted NAS Sigonella's role as a primary logistical base.
Also during his tenure, NAS Sigonella served as the operational base for the 2017 G7 Summit and the location for President Donald J. Trump's first public address directly to the military. NAS Sigonella was awarded first place in the EURAFSWA Energy "Biggest Loser" contest for three years running and won the Capt. Edward F. Ney Award for the Small Ashore galley category two out of the past three years.
NAS Sigonella supports European Command, Navy Central Command, Africa Command, U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet units, and NATO forces in the Mediterranean.
Pickard said he looked forward to commanding 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 Pickard. "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.
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