Naval Base Kitsap holds Change of Command

Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Vaughan Dill, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest

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BREMERTON, Wash. – Capt. Edward A. Schrader relieved Capt. Thomas A. Zwolfer as commanding officer of Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) during a change of command ceremony at NBK-Bremerton’s Charlie Pier Sept. 9.

Zwolfer assumed command of NBK in August 2013, having previously served as the Strategic Programs Branch Head within the Undersea Warfare Division on the Navy Staff, as well as serving on the staff of the Secretary of the Navy as the Assessment Division Director within the Office of Program Appraisal.

“One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of is our improved community engagement. The Navy and community already had a strong relationship, however, I believe it has reached even greater heights over the past few years,” Zwolfer said. “The partnerships we’ve formed are important. We’re all part of the same community and must work together for continued success.”

Zwolfer’s next assignment is as the Chief of Staff for Navy Region Northwest, headquartered at NBK-Bangor.

I’ve occasionally heard people refer to new adventures in their lives as chapters in their life’s books,” said Zwolfer. “At NBK, we’ve accomplished so much during these past few years that I view NBK as an entire book filled with captivating and impressive chapters.”

Rear Adm. Gary Mayes, commander, Navy Region Northwest served as the principle speaker of the ceremony.

“This is a day of celebration for Tom Zwolfer, Alan Schrader, their families, and a special day for NBK,” said Mayes. “Today is an opportunity to express our personal gratitude and thanks to a superb officer, formally effect a change in command, and welcome in another outstanding commanding officer.”

Mayes also presented Zwolfer with a Legion of Merit in recognition of his job well done.

“For the last three years, Capt. Zwolfer has led NBK in supporting the fleet, fighter and family. Tom’s and his team’s efforts to improve their base and facilities has been steadfast and aggressive, accomplishing significant repair and construction projects each year,” Mayes said. “As we bid farewell to Tom as commanding officer of NBK, I welcome Alan and his family.”

Capt. Schrader assumed command of NBK following his assignment as Commanding Officer of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733), homeported at NBK-Bangor prior to being named Branch Head, Operations, Evaluation and Training, Strategic Systems Programs in Washington, D.C.

“We have been and will always be stewards of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, working side-by-side with the community while executing some of the most vital missions to our national security,” said Schrader. “I’m looking forward to ensuring that NBK will continue to provide world-class service for the fleet, fighter, and family with integrity, initiative, and toughness unmatched throughout the world.”

NBK is the nation’s third-largest naval installation and the largest naval organization in Navy Region Northwest, composed of installations at Bremerton, Bangor, and Keyport. NBK serves as the host command for the Navy’s fleet throughout the West Puget Sound, in support of surface ships and submarines.

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