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NEWS | Nov. 18, 2021

Change of Command for Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center

By NOSWC Public Affairs Officer

San Diego, CA --  CDR Jeff Palmer was relieved by CDR Mark Hebert as Commanding Officer, Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center (NOSWC), in a ceremony at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Nov. 18, 2021.
The Change of Command ceremony is not prescribed specifically by U.S. Navy Regulations, but rather is a time-honored naval tradition.
Family members of both men joined military and civilian guests to welcome aboard CDR Hebert and to wish CDR Palmer fair winds and following seas as he departs after serving as NOSWC Commander for more than two and a half years.
The ceremony’s guest speaker was CAPT J.P. Garstka, Commanding Officer, Naval Oceanography Operations Command.
Palmer, a native of Fairfax, Virginia, has been a member of the Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) community since 2002 following his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2001, and assumed command of NOSWC in April 2019.
“The many successes of NOSWC and NSW while I’ve been here couldn’t have been done without this truly multi-talented team, some of which you see here before you today.  I’m in awe of all the things they accomplished- NOSWC runs on smart, talented, innovative AGs led by forward leaning passionate Chiefs and Junior Officers” said Palmer of his time as Commander of NOSWC.
CDR Palmer will report to Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command to serve as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations.
Hebert, a native of Cumana, Venezuela, and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, took command of NOSWC following his tour as 6th Fleet Oceanographer.  He is the 9th Commanding Officer of NOSWC since the command’s inception.
“You led this team through some of the most dynamic challenges we as a Nation and a Navy have had to face in a very long time.  I look forward to building upon the foundation you have laid over the past two years and building a force that Poseidon or Neptune would second guess going to war with” Hebert said of his predecessor.
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 officers, men and women of 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 mission of the Naval Oceanography Special Warfare Center is to characterize the environment in order to provide tailored METOC information and recommendations to optimize route planning, platform selection, gear load-out, execution timeline, sensor employment/emplacement, and actions at the objective in support of Naval Special Warfare mission planning and execution.
U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command directs and oversees more than 2,500 globally-distributed military and civilian personnel who collect, process and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to make better decisions, based on assured environmental information, faster than the adversary.
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