By Capt. Timothy C. Liberatore, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center
NAVAL BASE VENTURA COUNTY, PORT HUENEME, Calif. -- The Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Ventura County July 30.
Capt. Jayson D. Mitchell relieved Capt. Mark K. Edelson as commanding officer.
Rear Adm. Katherine L. Gregory, Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and Chief of Civil Engineers, gave the keynote address and presented Edelson with the Legion of Merit medal for his “exemplary service, exceptional vision and inspirational leadership”.
"Capt. Edelson was the right person for the job, due to his qualities of being smart, energetic, and having a large capacity to deal with the multitude of missions of NAVFAC EXWC. In addition, Capt. Edelson had the people skills, leadership, and patience with a sense of urgency that led the command to its many successes,” said Gregory.
Edelson highlighted some of tremendous accomplishments across the command, and stated, “I hope this gives you a sense of the incredible things that the dedicated military, civilians, and contractor partners of Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center do for NAVFAC and the Nation. Their responsibilities are world-wide and their contributions are continuous. My thanks and appreciation to every one of our dedicated employees. It has been a wonderful experience.”
Edelson has been the commanding officer of NAVFAC EXWC since July 2013. He is assuming new duties as the Assistant Commander for Operations at NAVFAC Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Under Capt. Edelson's leadership, NAVFAC EXWC truly established itself as a premier Navy warfare center, expanding its global leadership position in strategic innovations, specialized engineering and information technology expertise, and centralized program management for NAVFAC while maintaining its capability to respond to the evolving requirements of Navy, Marine Corps, and Department of Defense commands around the world.
A graduate of the Tufts University, the University of Texas, the Naval War College, and the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy, Capt. Mitchell assumed command of NAVFAC EXWC following his last tour of duty as Operations Officer for NAVFAC Washington D.C.
"To the men and women of EXWC, I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such a unique command that has such profound and far reaching impact on not only our Seabees and expeditionary forces worldwide, but the wider Navy and other important clients as well. It’s no secret that innovation, technology development, and arming our forces with the best, most capable equipment available are key building blocks to our nation’s national security," said Mitchell.
Mitchell, a native of Beverly Massachusetts, began his naval career with Naval Air Station Pensacola as Assistant Resident Officer in Charge of Construction. His assignments have included, Company Commander and Detail Officer in Charge (OIC), Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) Forty; Public Works Officer and Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC) Navy Regional Contracting Center, Singapore; Chief of the Engineer Support Branch for the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, Washington D.C.; Executive Officer of NMCB Five; OIC of the Camp Victory Public Works Resident Office Baghdad, Iraq, in support of the Army Corps of Engineers; Public Works Officer North Potomac in Bethesda, MD; ROICC Bethesda, MD, where he led the design, construction, and contract administration for the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; Commanding Officer of NMCB Seven where he led the battalion through a 10-month deployment in support of theater security cooperation efforts throughout the European Command and Africa Command theaters, as well as disaster relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Haiti; and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations at First Naval Construction Division, where he oversaw the global employment of the Naval Construction Force “Seabees”.
The command's highly skilled and dedicated workforce of civilian, military and contractor personnel execute over $800 million-a-year to provide world-class logistics, specialized engineering, scientific and technical products and services in support of energy, utilities, environmental, expeditionary, ocean facilities, shore facilities and anti-terrorism/force protection programs.