Story by SSgt Lucas Vega on 07/26/2019MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan Brig. Gen. William Bowers received the Marine Corps colors from Maj. Gen Paul Rock Jr. July 26 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, signifying the passing of command for Marine Corps Installations Pacific Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler.
"Thank you for joining us on this stunningly beautiful Okinawa morning, as we mark the passage and transition of command between two great commanders and their command teams," said Maj. Gen. Edward D. Banta, Commander, Marine Corps Installations Command , while addressing hundreds of MCIPAC officials, partner-allies, host-nation government officials, Marines, Sailors, family and friends in attendance at the ceremony. "The change of command for MCIPAC is a big deal because Marine Corps Installations Pacific is a big deal."
MCIPAC provides support to major subordinate commands installations throughout the Pacific including locations in Okinawa, mainland Japan, the Republic of South Korea, and Hawaii.
Following Banta's remarks, Rock addressed the attendees and reflected on his time as MCIPAC's commanding general.
"It has been an absolute honor and privilege to the commanding general of this terrific Marine Corps Installations Pacific team," said Rock, who will staying on Okinawa, but heading a little further north to take over III Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and deputy of III Marine Expeditionary Force in the coming days. "Marine Corps Installations Pacific is getting the commanding general it deserves the smart, accomplished, highly motivated Brigadier General Bill Bowers."
The master of ceremonies, Gunnery Sgt. Renard Dominique, read a letter from Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. David H. Berger which addressed the major accomplishments during Rock's tenure as commanding general of MCIPAC. In the letter the commandant noted Rock established MCIPAC as being the bow that launches the III Marine Expeditionary Force, forward. Rock also increased the readiness of III MEF, increased MCIPAC's resiliency and funding, improved quality of life for Marines and sailors, strengthened allied relationships, and improved local diplomacy. The letter ended by thanking Rock and wishing him the best on future endeavors.
Bowers, who takes command of MCIAPC after a successful tour as the President of Marine Corps University and Education Command in Quantico, VA, looks forward to commanding the Marines, sailors, host-nation and U.S. government employees.
"Thank you all for attending this significant event. To our friends and local officials from Okinawa, my family and I look very forward to working with you," said Bowers, who has served in the Marine Corps for 29 years. "To the Marine Corps Installations Pacific team, I promise to do my very best, give you my very best - 100 percent every day - to accomplish this vital mission for our country."
Marine Corps Installations Pacific strengthens and enables force projection in the Indo-Pacific with it's allies and partners to protect and defend the territory of the United States, its people, and its interests. MCIPAC's camps and installations, arrayed across the region with purposeful designs, clearly set theater-strategic conditions for partnered presence, logistics throughput, command and control, and military readiness. The utility, resiliency and strategic design represent the requisite and foundational support to the power of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific.