STENNIS SPACE CENTER, MS (WLOX) - The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command has a new commander. Rear Adm. John Okon relieved Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet in ceremonies at Stennis Space Center on Thursday.
About 300 people, mostly Naval personnel, attended the ceremony with featured speaker Adm. Philip Davidson, Commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
The Naval Oceanography commander is the highest ranking active duty military officer in the state and its only flag officer. The command directs and oversees more than 2,500 military and civilian personnel who provide information to help Navy ships, submarines, aircraft, and special forces to navigate safely and efficiently.
"What's most important that we felt right away is the love that the Gulf Coast and Mississippi has for the Navy. So, as a homeowner now in Mississippi, I'm going to be immediately involved in giving back to the community," said Okon.
"I couldn't be more happy and proud. I think our command here at Stennis Space Center has never been in a better position, and the new commander, Adm. John Okon, is the right guy for the job, and he's going to take everything we've done and just keep it moving forward," said Gallaudet.
Gallaudet, who has been with the command since June 2014, will retire next month at a separate ceremony in Annapolis, MD.