Capt. Tim DeWitt relieved Capt. Michael Kenney Jr. as Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East commanding officer during a change of command ceremony onboard Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, July 11.
DeWitt also assumes responsibility as regional engineer for Commander, Navy Region Japan; and Commander, U.S. Navy Region Korea.
"It is great to finally be back in Japan," said DeWitt in prepared remarks regarding his two previous tours in Yokosuka. "I am honored and truly humbled to lead you."
DeWitt worked at NAVFAC Far East previously as public works officer for Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Additionally, his first tour as a commissioned officer was in Yokosuka as a surface warfare officer aboard USS Rodney M. Davis. Since then, he has been assigned as NAVFAC Southwest operations officer and Naval Construction Group TWO.
DeWitt's naval service began in 1993 after graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Illinois.
Kenney will continue his naval service as facilities director for Marine Corps Installations Command at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
During the ceremony, Adametz presented Kenney with the Legion of Merit. Kenney also received a letter of commendation from Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Chief of Staff Adm. Hiroshi Yamamura, presented by JMSDF Maritime Staff Office Facilities Division Director Capt. Kan Fujiki.
While Kenney led NAVFAC Far East, his team led the efforts to secure a replacement berthing pier in Yokosuka, Japan; 4160-volt shore power for ships in Sasebo, Japan; and a combatant loading wharf at Urago, Japan. The command supported the relocation of Carrier Air Wing 5 from Naval Air Facilities Atsugi to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, brought potable water to all drinking faucets in Diego Garcia, and provided 80,000 crane lifts in 2018 alone. The command received numerous environmental awards and has had the best safety program in the Navy for the two years under his command among medium industrial activities.
"No matter where you are in the Navy, our leaders must always be about supporting the deckplate on ships, on submarines, in squadrons and even on shore," said Kenney in his closing remarks. "As long as leaders on the shore are dedicated to removing the barriers for success for the deckplate, the U.S. Navy and this region’s allies will be able to overcome any challenge from the sea, land, air, space, and even cyberspace.”
NAVFAC Far East has a workforce of more than 2,000 military, U.S. civilian and host nation employees who provide a full range of facilities and engineering services to Navy, Marine Corps and other federal agencies in Japan, Korea, Singapore and the British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia).