NAS JRB FORT WORTH, TEXAS — CAPT Mark McLean bid a farewell to Naval Air Station (NAS) Joint Reserve Base (JRB) Fort Worth on Nov. 16, as he retired after 27 years of dedicated service. The retirement ceremony also marked a change in command, as CAPT Beau Hufstetler assumed the role of Commanding Officer of NAS JRB Fort Worth.
The ceremony was held at the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 59 “Lone Star Express” hangar and was attended by military personnel, family members, friends, local dignitaries, and Congresswoman Kay Granger. The event commemorated McLean’s achievements and marked the beginning of Hufstetler’s tour as Commanding Officer of NAS JRB Fort Worth.
Commander Navy Reserve Forces Command, Deputy Commander, Navy Reserve Force, Rear Adm. Michael Steffen spoke as the ceremony’s guest speaker. Steffen applauded the accomplishments of McLean and his team during his tenure as Commanding Officer. Under McLean’s leadership, the installation successfully recovered from a devastating winter storm and he oversaw a $4.8 million emergent runway repair. Furthermore, he championed defense economic adjustment assistance grants, securing $3.7 million in state and municipality funding. In recognition of the importance of sailors’ well-being, support was also given to the installation for an artificial turf football field, enhancing the quality of life and fitness. Additionally, annual civic and media engagement days were implemented to promote the mission and impact of the installation.
“Mark, I know you would be the first to attribute the success of this command to the sailors and civilians of NAS JRB Fort Worth. There are a lot of great accomplishments, and I can unequivocally attest that you and the staff have had a huge impact to the Navy and our joint force,” said Steffen.
McLean, who has served as the Commanding Officer since 2020, expressed heartfelt gratitude towards the support he received from elected officials, staff members, and his family, throughout his career and tenure at NAS JRB Fort Worth.
“I am going to express a lot of thank you’s, because commanding this small military city for three and a half years and ensuring the success of the base’s missions has never been about individual effort. It’s not even a team effort, that completely resides within the confines of the federal boundaries,” said McLean. “Our communities have made this naval air station a destination of choice for tens of thousands over the years.”
Hufstetler, an experienced aviator and leader, expressed his excitement and dedication to continuing the legacy of excellence at the base.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet with our headquarters staff, leaders of our Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force tenant commands, and a number of our city officials. All of whom have shared their mission, challenges, and vision for this city and this base. These people are sharp and focused; it’s what makes this base and city unique,” said Hufstetler. “People want to work here, they want to be a part of this community, and they enthusiastically support our military. They will do whatever it takes to support our team.”
“My charge is that we move forward with a bias for action, prioritizing our mission, pursuing excellence in every facet of our operations, and caring well for our shipmates and their families. We must continue to strengthen relationships with our local communities, as they are foundational to our success,” said Hufstetler.
With the conclusion of the change of command, World War II veteran, Don Graves performed ‘God Bless America.’ Followed by McLean being piped ashore by the side boys for the last time alongside his wife and children.
NAS JRB Fort Worth is a key military installation in North Texas, providing support to warfighters in the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Army. The change in command signals a new chapter for the base, as it continues to play a vital role in national defense and military operations.
|Date Posted:||11.17.2023 22:56|