Story by PO2 Matthew Dickinson on 02/08/2019WHITE BEACH, Okinawa -- Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa (CFAO) held a change of command ceremony at White Beach Naval Facility in Uruma City, Okinawa, Japan, Feb 8.
Capt. Scott Hardy relieved Capt. Robert Mathewson and assumed duties as commander of Fleet Activities Okinawa.
During the ceremony, Capt. Mathewson gave full credit for his success to the Sailors and civilians of Fleet Activities Okinawa.
"All of you here today have played an integral role in our lives in a major way," said Mathewson, "and I know that each encounter, each experience will forever have a special place in our hearts
"You have opened your doors to me and my family and the families of this command, you have welcomed us into your communities and homes and treated us as one of your own." Mathewson said about the Okinawan community. "For this I am forever grateful."
Rear Adm. Gregory Fenton, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Japan and Navy Region Japan, had nothing but praise for Mathewson. As guest speaker, he spoke of Mathewson as a person that understands the power of partnerships
"Axle built lasting relationships based on trust and respect." said Fenton. "So much of what Axle accomplished is based on his relationships with the community, which were nourished by his deep fondness of the Okinawan people and culture."
Capt. Mathewson is a native of Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He graduated and was commissioned from The United States Naval Academy in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and was designated a Naval Aviator at NAS Meridian, MS in April 1995.
During the ceremony, Mathewson received the Legion of Merit for his superior and loyal service. He also received a letter of commendation from the commandant, Sasebo District, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force as well as a commemorative plaque from Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, Sub Area Activity Okinawa. Mathewson's previous decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross (with Combat "V"), Defense Meritorious Service Medal and various other personal and unit awards.
His next assignment is to become the deputy commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
As Hardy assumed command, he said he and his family are very happy to be in Okinawa and expressed his vision for the near future.
"To the men and women at CFAO, it's an honor to be a part of your command," said Hardy, "I want to carry on the great work Axle has done as we forge our way into the future."
Capt. Hardy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1986 attending boot camp at MCRD San Diego. His tours included HMH-462 in Tustin, Calif. and HMX-1 in Quantico, Va. where he supported Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. from 1987 to 1991. After transitioning to the Marine Reserves, he attended Texas A&M University graduating in 1994. In the summer of 1995 he attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) at NAS Pensacola, Florida and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1997.
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