By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Geoffrey P. Barham
SASEBO, Japan – Commander, U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo held a change of command ceremony July 14, 2017. Capt. Brad L. Stallings relieved Capt. Matthew D. Ovios, as CFAS commanding officer.
More than 300 people, including Japanese military, government and civic organization leadership, attended the ceremony.
“There is a sense of community here that is special, and it is woven through the entire fabric of Fleet Activities Sasebo and the cities of Sasebo and Saikai,” said Ovios.
Commander, Naval Forces Japan, Rear Admiral Gregory Fenton was the guest speaker and presented Ovios with the Legion of Merit for his service as commanding officer of CFAS.
“Under Ovios’ experienced watch, Fleet Activities Sasebo has continued to stand as the heartbeat of the forward-deployed Pacific Fleet,” said Fenton. “He has increased both U.S. Navy and Kaijo Jeitai (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) capabilities by introducing routine MV-22 Osprey operations, supporting the trilateral exercise Malabar and hosting a bilateral amphibious operations conference.”
Ovios also received the Sasebo Honorary Citizen for International Goodwill Award from Norio Tomonaga, Sasebo City mayor, and a letter of appreciation from Osamu Obata, the President of Sasebo Japan-America Society.
During his three year tenure, Ovios engaged with city, prefecture and national-level government officials and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force counterparts, and facilitated multiple bilateral operations between the U.S. Navy and JMSDF.
After assuming command, Stallings reaffirmed CFAS’ commitment to service excellence and his intention to continue working with Japanese military and civilian leaders to continue building the relationship between them and CFAS.
“Collectively we will take care of each other, and we will continue to build strong and lasting relationships with the government of Japan, the local communities, the Japanese self-defense forces and the Japanese coast guard. I will give you all I can each and every day,” Stallings said in his remarks.
Stallings, a native of Attica, Ohio, graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Industrial Management in 1995 and was commissioned through the Enlisted Commissioning Program. He was previously Commodore, Patrol Coastal Squadron One, forward-deployed to Naval Support Activity Bahrain, before assuming command of CFAS.
CFAS enables 13 forward-deployed Naval forces and 26 tenant commands across 11 geographic locations, supporting a community of 7,000 Sailors, civilians, and family members. It has received awards for Safety, Environmental, Zumwalt Lodging, Golden Anchor, Food Service, and the 2016 Region Japan Installation of the Year.