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U.S. National Ice Center Welcomes New Director
by LT Falon Essary
12 July 2021
SUITLAND, MD --
SUITLAND, MD — The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) comprises elements of the U.S. Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The Naval Ice Center (NAVICECEN), a military unit under Commander, Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command, is the largest component of the U.S. National Ice Center and the Center’s only independent command. The Commanding Officer of NAVICECEN also serves simultaneously as the Director of USNIC, Jul. 12, 2021.
CDR Casey J. Gon relieved CDR Heather H. Quilenderino as Commanding Officer of NAVICEN during a change of command ceremony held at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Suitland, MD on 08 July 2021 at 1000.
During the ceremony, CDR Quilenderino stated, “USNIC, 32 months ago, I charged you with three things: Take pride; challenge everything; be excellent. You have exceeded the charge every step of the way.” Praising the crew throughout her speech CDR Quilenderino mentioned, “Seeing how we have evolved as a team over the past two and a half years, how your expertise is in greater demand than ever before, and how you rise to meet the challenges we’ve encountered, there is no doubt that we strive for excellence every single day.” CDR Quilenderino emphasised how excited she is for the new Commanding Officer CDR Gon stating, “Team USNIC is an incredible group of caring, dedicated professionals executing an exciting mission, protecting safety of life and navigation in the world’s harshest environments.”
CDR Quilinderino has served as the Director of USNIC since November 2018, overseeing 50 military and civilian personnel who provide global to tactical scale ice and snow products, ice forecasting, and related environmental intelligence for the United States government.
The Presiding Officer of the ceremony was CAPT Erin Acosta, Commander, Fleet Weather Center, Norfolk.
During her speech she mentioned, “We are here today to celebrate the U.S. National Ice Center’s collective accomplishments, technical expertise, talented workforce, dedication and preeminence in such a crucial and important mission.” With regard to CDR Quilinderino, CAPT Acosta said that “She masterfully led this diverse team through a period of unprecedented increase of interest, operations and strategic engagement in the Arctic...she led this team daily with a laser focus on the future...she did this with passion and zeal, with character, with creative and innovative thinking.”
CDR Quilinderino is scheduled to report for duty as VADM Jeffrey Trussler Deputy Chief of Navy Operations for Information Warfare’s, Deputy Executive Assistant.
After assuming command, CDR Gon spoke to the crew stating, “We at the U.S. National Ice Center have the incredible challenge of characterizing the most complex and harsh domain that ships, submarines and aircraft operate in, the Arctic and Antarctic….I look forward to leading the USNIC Family through all steps of this complex problem set and I cannot wait to get started.”
CDR Gon most recently served in the Fifth Fleet as the Fleet Oceanographer and Maritime Operations Center Executive Officer.
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