Pacific Missile Range Facility holds change of
Captain Vincent R. Johnson relieved Captain Bruce W. Hay Jr. as commanding officer of Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at a change of command and retirement ceremony held at the base air operations hangar on 12 August 2016.
Hay retired from 26 years of honorable and dedicated naval service during the ceremony.
Captain Hay assumed command of PMRF in July of 2013 and during his three year tenure as Commanding Officer, supported advanced technology development, national ballistic missile testing programs and the training of Navy warriors. His leadership led to significant improvements in range operations procedures, business practices, base facilities, public access and community outreach programs. He was a proponent of environmental stewardship and led the command to receive three Chief of Naval Operations and two Secretary of the Navy natural resource conservation awards.
Hay looked back on his three year command and began by expressing his fondness for his time at PMRF and thanks for those he had the privilege to serve with.
“When I took command of this amazing place, I made a simple proclamation that our relevancy would be tied to the demand for our services. I think looking back; we definitely achieved that and more,” said Hay. As the head cheerleader for PMRF, it was an easy job telling people just how absolutely awesome we are and encouraging them to train and test here. You did the rest. Our customer’s successes have been our successes. We’ve touched the outer reaches of space together and while doing so, we have continued to respect the land and sea and all the creatures that live on both. We have tirelessly volunteered, mentored and enriched the lives of everyone we come in contact with and opened our gates for countless events for the entire Kauai Ohana. I honestly believe there is not a single challenge this team could not meet.”
“To all the friends and partners on Kauai, thank you for supporting us, both the PMRF and Hay Ohanas. This island is magical and I know great things have and will continue to be accomplished because we’re all pulling the net in as a team.”
Among the many distinguished visitors and guests were Rear Admiral John V. Fuller, Commander Navy Region Hawaii, Commander Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific, Mayor Kauai County, Bernard P. Carvalho and Kauai Representative for Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Ms. Kaulana Finn.
Finn shared a message from Congresswoman Gabbard, presented Hay with a token of appreciation for his service and welcomed Captain Johnson to the Kauai Ohana.
“Through notable skill you have guided PMRF to being a premier class training range which allows the testing of some of the most advanced weapons systems known to the world” said Finn. “Your commitment to transparency and to involving the Kauai Community in the Navy’s mission at PMRF is commendable.”
“To Captain Vincent Johnson, welcome aboard. It is with open arms and aloha that we welcome you and your family to the Kauai community and to PMRF,” said Finn.
Mayor Carvalho applauded Captain Hay for his service and dedication with an award and spoke of their relationship throughout the years. “I like to call him braddah Bruce, brother Captain Bruce, I know how important our goal is in our community, to be able to pick up the phone and talk story. That’s the kind of relationship we need, to know how important this military base is to Kauai, for Hawaii and the world. This is our responsibility to continue to work closely, to continue to bridge and connect into our community.”
Commander Navy Region Hawaii, Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific, Rear Admiral John V. Fuller, the ceremonies honored speaker presented Hay with the Legion of Merit and commended his exceptional work, outstanding service and contributions to the community.
“I opened my remarks by stating that today is historic, its historic because today is more than just a change of command ceremony, it’s about turning over a strategic gem from one very capable naval officer to another,” said Fuller. Flounder (Capt. Hay) impressed all of us with his ability to lead on many diverse fronts, from cyber readiness to improving morale and readiness and to supporting fleet and other DOD customers, all with such a small staff. He excelled at tasks that many commanders would not have even attempted. He figured out how to make it work.”
Admiral Fuller also welcomed Captain Johnson to the PMRF Ohana.
“On behalf of Admiral Swift, and the Navy Region Hawaii and MIDPAC team, I join the PMRF Ohana in welcoming you to the extended family as the PMRF Commanding Officer. I know you, will anticipate change, communicate, strengthen the Ohana and be ready for what comes next. I look forward to working with you, supporting you, and helping you succeed.”
After official orders were read, Johnson succeeded Hay to be the 26th Naval Officer in command of PMRF and the nearly 1,000 active duty, civilian and contractor employees assigned to the base.
“I look forward to the opportunity to serve the fleet, PMRF and the community.” said Captain Johnson. “The fact that I get to do all this while living in paradise, surrounded by the most dedicated group of professionals I have ever been associated with isn’t too bad either.”
Captain Vincent Johnson was born in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and raised in Lansing, Michigan. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a commission and B. S. in Physics in 1993 and holds a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U. S. Naval War College. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1996 and has achieved over 3100 flight hours, including 1000 hours in the SH-60B Seahawk as well as breaking 1000 hours in EA-6B Prowler. He arrives from the U.S. Naval War College where he most recently served as a Military Professor of Strategy and Policy.