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NEWS | Oct. 8, 2021

Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center Change of Command

By NOMWC Public Affairs Officer

Stennis Space Center, MS --  Commander Stephen McIntyre was relieved by Commander Matthew Watts as Commanding Officer, Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center (NOMWC) at Stennis Space Center on the 8th of October.
In a ceremony at the NASA facility in southern Mississippi, the command’s Sailors and dozens of military and civilian guests bid farewell to CDR McIntyre while offering a warm welcome to the incoming CDR Watts.
The Change of Command ceremony is not prescribed specifically by U.S. Navy Regulations, but rather is a time-honored naval tradition.
The ceremony’s guest speaker was Captain John Garstka, the Commanding Officer of the Naval Oceanography Operations Command.
McIntyre, an Auburn University alum from Midlothian, Virginia, has served in the Navy since commissioning in 2002 and in the Naval Oceanography community since 2007.  He took command of NOMWC in 2019, leading his team through a major reorganization and sharpening its focus in an ever-evolving Navy.  His next step will take him to Monterey, California, where he will serve as the Executive Officer of the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center.
Watts enlisted into the Navy from Dover, Delaware in 1998 as a Fire Controlman and went on to commission from the U.S. Naval Academy six years later.  He assumes command at NOMWC after earning his PhD in Physical Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School, also in Monterey.  His speech at the ceremony expressed his excitement at the new opportunities ahead.
“Not only am I honored to take the helm of NOMWC, but I am also humbled by the trust and confidence shown to me by Navy Oceanography leadership. I pledge to give my full effort in discharging the duties as Commanding Officer, to live by the Sailor’s Creed, and to uphold the Navy Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. It is my sincere hope to live up to the high standards demonstrated by the seven previous NOMWC Commanding Officers.”
A Change of Command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commander to another. It is designed to publicize to the command the absolute transfer of authority. The passing of colors, standards, or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its service members and civilians are never without official leadership.
The Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center provides asymmetric warfighting advantage as an embedded member of Mine Warfare forces by reducing risk and tactical execution timelines through the fusion of oceanographic sciences, intelligence preparation of the operational environment, tactical mine hunting, and data analysis.  They deploy certified teams in direct support of Mine Countermeasures forces for Mine Warfare-related ocean bottom surveys, assessment, and data fusion.
For more news from the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center, go to
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Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command | 1100 Balch Blvd. | Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 39529