Story by Anna Marie G. General on 06/14/2019A Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific (MIDPAC) change of command ceremony was held June 14 at Kilo Pier on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).
Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick II relieved Rear Adm. Brian Fort as commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.
Serving in command since July 2017, Fort leaves Hawaii to become commander of U.S. Naval Forces Japan and Navy Region Japan. Chadwick comes to Hawaii after serving as the commandant of midshipmen for the U.S. Naval Academy.
The program began with a hula performance as guests arrived. Capt. James Jenks, chief of staff of Navy Region Hawaii provided opening remarks followed by a performance from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, the parading of colors by the JBPHH color guard, the national anthem sung by two Sailors, and the chanting of the Oli - Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Kordell.
Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, was keynote speaker at the ceremony and praised Fort for the accomplishments he achieved in his two years as commander.
"For the past two years, Brian has been dedicated to three key mission sets here in Hawaii - Sailors and their families, the local community, and ensuing the readiness of our forces," said Aquilino.
"His support to the warfighter - uniformed Sailors and civilians - has been unparalleled. Brian realized that the cornerstone of success was taking care of Sailors and their families first. This ensured they could focus on their mission - whatever, wherever, and whenever it was needed. Your personal impact will leave a lasting, positive impact for years to come."
Fort thanked Aquilino for his kind words and provided his final remarks as commander of CNRH and MIDPAC.
"I am humbled to have the honor to speak for the final time as commander, Navy Region Hawaii and commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. I intend to enjoy every final minute of it," said Fort.
"As a Navy leader, I have always enjoyed both aspects and over the past week, I've enjoyed the opportunity to get to know my new friend and shipmate, Rear Adm. Rob Chadwick. Congratulations on assuming command today and good luck to you. The men and women of the region and MIDPAC are fortunate to have you at the helm."
Chadwick said he looks forward to the challenges ahead as the new commander of CNRH and MIDPAC, and conclude with a congratulatory message for Fort on his next tour.
"I have big shoes to fill and I want to thank you for a great turnover," said Chadwick "I want to congratulate you on a phenomenal tour; your staff in Japan are lucky to have you in command. Congratulations on your new role. I am joining an amazing team in Hawaii and look forward to knowing all of you. I look forward to the challenges ahead and to provide undivided support to our Sailors and families."
CNRH has leadership oversight of JBPHH on Oahu and Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. MIDPAC has leadership oversight of the 10 surface ships homeported in Hawaii.