NS Newport Community
Naval Support Activity Mid-South Welcomes New Commander
Story by Amanda Rae Moreno on 02/25/2019
MILLINGTON, Tenn. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony on February 25 in Millington, TN.
Capt. Michael S. Wathen of Evansville, Indiana, relinquished command to Capt. Alonza “Al” Ross of Ashland, Mississippi, during a traditional Navy ceremony.
The guest speaker and presiding officer for the ceremony was Rear Adm. Babette “Bette” Bolivar who served as the Commander, Navy Region Southeast during Wathen’s tour.
“Captain Wathen has done a tremendous job representing the Navy in this tight knit Millington community,” said Bolivar. “I am excited to welcome Captain Ross and his family to the Southeast Region team.”
Ross is no stranger to the installation or the local area. He is taking command after a successful tour as Director of Enlisted Distribution Division at Navy Personnel Command on board NSA Mid-South. Ross has also previously served as the executive officer for the installations Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island, and Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“Command is one of the highest levels of trust that the Navy can place in a naval officer. I have seen first-hand how important the role of installations is in supporting warfighter capabilities and readiness,” said Ross. “I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to continuing Captain Wathen’s work here in Millington.”
Wathen has been the commander of NSA Mid-South since July 2017. He is following on to serve as the executive officer of the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center in Newport, Rhode Island.
During the ceremony Wathen was awarded the Legion of Merit award for his service to the Navy during his time as commanding officer. His accomplishments include the installation earning multiple national and international accreditations, improved performance in several inspections and assessments, and improvements to energy efficiency and resiliency.
“My time in command of Naval Support Activity Mid-South has been unbelievably rewarding. The way this community supports the installation and its service members is truly amazing. Millington is the quintessential Navy town.” said Wathen. “We encountered our share of challenges, but working together we have made the Navy and the Mid-South better. I am going to miss being here.”
From recruitment to retirement, the commands on board NSA Mid-South provide career support services to more than 300K Sailors and their families. Home to Navy Personnel Command, Bureau of Personnel, Navy Recruiting Command, and Navy Manpower Analysis Center, the missions of the tenant commands on board NSA Mid-South is to manage the Navy’s most valuable asset: its people.
Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tenn., is a base of the U.S. Navy. A part of the Navy Region Southeast and the Navy Installations Command, NSA Mid-South serves as the Navy’s Human Resources Center of Excellence. More than 6,500 military, civilian, and contract personnel are assigned and work on base.