Contact: Ron Inman
By NAVFAC Far East Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East held a change of command ceremony at Fleet Activities Yokosuka's Benny Decker Theater, July 18.
Capt. Michelle C. La Duca relieved Capt. Don R. Chandler as Regional Engineer for Commander, Navy Region Japan; Commander, Navy Region Korea; and Commander, Singapore Area Coordinator, and as Commanding Officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East.
NAVFAC Pacific Commander, Rear Adm. Bret J. Muilenburg was the guest speaker, and awarded Chandler the Legion of Merit, gold star in lieu of second award, for his dynamic leadership.
Chandler expertly led a diverse NAVFAC Far East team of more than 2,000 military, U.S. civilian and host nation employees geographically dispersed over 7,000 miles in Japan, Korea, Singapore and Diego Garcia, from July 2011 to July 2013. He was the driving force behind the delivery of $500 million in facilities engineering and environmental services for Navy and Marine Corps installations in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, including critical infrastructure upgrades for homeport ashore barracks in Yokosuka and for the relocation of Littoral Combat Ships to Singapore.
"The whole magnificent NAVFAC Far East team are truly the ones who've earned the recognition, and I humbly accept it on their behalf," Chandler said.
His personal engagement contributed to agreements with Japan for major relocations of ordnance facilities, family housing, aircraft to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and increased recapitalization of utility systems at Navy installations throughout the Far East region. In addition, he led a robust regional energy program, exceeding the Navy's conservation goals and initiating numerous projects for renewable energy development.
"I humbly submit that there is no finer team in the United States Navy than the men and women of NAVFAC Far East," Chandler said during his closing remarks. "I thank you so much for your service. I am in awe of all you do and feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to serve with you."
Chandler will report to NAVFAC Headquarters in Washington, D.C., for duty as Chief of Staff.
La Duca reports from a tour at NAVFAC Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as the organization's Director of Total Force, responsible for military and civilian personnel policy for NAVFAC.
"It is such a tremendous honor to take command and serve this world-class organization," said La Duca. "The importance of our mission to support the Navy and our global security partners by delivering efficient and effective facilities and engineering services can't be overstated.
"Captain Chandler has set the bar high for me in leading such a vast, talented and diverse organization. I can only hope to continue to build on his and your successes and continue to provide unparalleled support to all of our supported commanders."