FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORT HADLOCK, Wash., - Cmdr. Donald W. Emerson relieved Cmdr. Rocky B. Pulley as commanding officer of Naval Magazine Indian Island during a change-of-command ceremony held on Friday, June 28, 2019.
Family, friends and employees gathered on the installation’s ammunition pier to witness the Navy’s time-honored tradition that marks the official passing of command from one officer to another.
Pulley assumed command of Naval Magazine Indian Island on June 29, 2017.
“In 2017, when I took over the helm as commanding officer of Indian Island, I knew I was going to be a part of something special,” Pulley said. “I could not be more proud to have been a part of a team that achieved so many impressive milestones and I cannot express how all of you have made this an extremely memorable and rewarding tour.”
Commander, Navy Region Northwest, Rear Adm. Scott Gray served as the guest speaker for the ceremony.
“Under Rocky’s leadership, Indian Island has been successful and met every operational requirement they’ve been asked to do in support of the Navy, Marine Corps, the Air Force, the Army, and America’s allies throughout the Pacific,” Gray said.
The Indian Island team safely handled more than 123,000 tons of conventional ordnance without any significant issues during Pulley’s two years in command.
Gray presented Pulley with the Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding service as Commanding Officer of the installation.
“Most important to this cohesive team is a great leader, and Rocky, you have been that great leader,” Gray said.
Pulley was instrumental in building up the installation’s civilian and military workforce, securing funding for the construction of modern munitions storage magazines, upgrading the installation’s telecommunications infrastructure, and bolstering relationships in the community with local governments, Native Tribes and Jefferson County residents.
The Indian Island team also received a number of awards for being good stewards of the environment within the past two years, including the Secretary of the Navy Gold Energy Award in 2017 and 2018, the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award in 2017 and 2018, Voluntary Protection Program Star Site Recertification in 2018, and the 2019 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award.
Pulley is a native of Boise, Idaho, and he joined the Navy in 1986 after graduating from Boise High School. Upon completion of basic training, he attended Aviation Ordnance “A” School in Millington, Tennessee.
He was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in 1999, and soon afterwards, Pulley was commissioned as an Ensign through the Limited Duty Officer program in 2000. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (seven awards) and numerous joint and unit awards.
Pulley’s next assignment will be on the staff of Commander, Navy Region Northwest in Silverdale, Washington.
Upon reading his orders, Emerson assumed command of the installation.
“I am absolutely confident that Emerson is the right person to lead command and pick up on the tremendous work that Pulley has done here and how he has established this installation as a premier installation for the Navy,” Gray said.
Emerson, a native of Great Bend, Pennsylvania, graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He reported to flight school and earned his wings in December 2004. Emerson has more than 2,400 flight hours in both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.
“Going forward, I hope to expand upon Cmdr. Pulley’s accomplishments, continue to meet the installation’s mission requirements in a safe and efficient manner, and build a stronger team both on the Island and in the community,” Emerson said. “My family and I are blown away with the absolute beauty of this area and we are thrilled to be a part of this community.”
Naval Magazine Indian Island is the U.S. Navy’s only deep-water ammunition port on the West Coast. Its 1,600-foot pier can handle the largest Navy and commercial vessels afloat. The 2,700-acre island is also home to the Department of Defense’s largest ordnance storage site on the West Coast with more than 100 magazines that store conventional munitions ranging from small arms ammunition to aircraft ordnance to ship-launched missiles.
An average of 50 vessels stop at the island each year, including aircraft carriers, guided-missile destroyers, guided-missile submarines, ammo ships, U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats, Military Sealift Command vessels, and commercial barges and container ships.