SANTA RITA, Guam (July 19, 2021) - Capt. Michael D. Luckett relieved Capt. Jeffrey M. Grimes as commanding officer of U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) during a Change of Command Ceremony held at Cmdr. William C. McCool Elementary/Middle School onboard NBG, July 19.
Commander, Joint Region Marianas Rear Adm. Benjamin Nicholson addressed guests and expressed his gratitude for Grimes’ accomplishments.
“With multiple back-to-back tours in Guam, he is one of the few who have seen aspirations become plans, plans become projects, and projects completed,” Nicholson said. “Naval Base Guam has changed significantly in his time here from pier improvements and base cleanliness to additional permanent units and major exercises, Jeff has done it all here on Naval Base Guam … Your legacy of leadership and compassion have left an indelible mark on our Sailors, civilians, families, and the community.”
Grimes served as NBG's commanding officer from July 2018 to July 2021. During this time, he led NBG and its 35 tenant commands during a period characterized by dynamic growth and unique challenges.
Among his accomplishments, Grimes worked tirelessly with military and local officials to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and innovatively and independently organized a Task Force, rapidly converted installation facilities and developed Standard Operating Procedures that enabled the successful, first ever COVID REVIVE mission of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) returning this important National Security Asset and its 4,800 Sailors to full mission capability.
“No matter what challenge falls our way, I know that everyone … will show up at the fight, stand side by side with their neighbor lend a helping hand and defeat whatever challenge is placed before us,” Grimes said. “To solidify this fact that I know to be true and communicate our commitment, we changed the motto on Naval Base Guam from ‘Gateway to the Pacific’ to ‘Fighting from Guam, Fighting for Guam.”
Luckett recently served as commanding officer of USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) from September 2018 to May 2021. Under his leadership, the ship completed more than 10 months of deployed operations across the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command theater.
Land successfully executed three deployments in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and completed an eight-month scheduled maintenance period in Vallejo, California. Throughout Luckett's tour, Land completed 7,000 hours of repair work on forward deployed naval force units in Sasebo, Japan, a historic visit to the Ulithi Atoll - the first since World War II, the completion of 19 submarine and surface ship maintenance repair periods, and a subject matter expert exchange with the Indian Navy's submarine flag leadership. Land was awarded the 2019 Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Battle Efficiency ("E") Award, as well as numerous other mission specialty awards.
“I am excited, honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead this fantastic team,” Luckett said, addressing NBG personnel. “Each of you plays an important part in executing the mission of Naval Base Guam.”
Luckett said Guam has been an important part of his Navy career and life for many years, first as a junior officer on a port call to NBG more than 20 years ago and then in 2004 assigned to a submarine homeported on the island. After more than a decade away, he returned in 2018.
“When people ask me why I live in Guam, I tell them that I came for the mission, and stayed for the people,” Luckett said. “Guam has never been more important to our nation’s defense than it is now, and Naval Base Guam is an invaluable asset to our Navy and the rest of the Joint Force.”