DIEGO GARCIA, British Indian Ocean Territory (July 15, 2022) – Capt. John F. Wilson assumed command of the U.S. Navy Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia from Capt. Richard D. Payne during a ceremony to change of command, July 15, 2022.
During the ceremony, Captain Payne, who had commanded NSF Diego Garcia since July 6, 2021, took the opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts over the past year.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are truly one island, one team, with one mission,” said Captain Payne, referring to longtime NSF motto Diego Garcia. “We are too far and too distant to do this work alone. I counted on you and you did not let me down.
While at Diego Garcia, Captain Payne successfully led NSF Diego Garcia through several challenges, one of which impacted the globe, the global pandemic known as COVID-19. His unwavering determination to ensure the well-being of all personnel under his care will forever change the way commanders are trained.
Captain Payne will then report to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, where he will continue to set an outstanding example.
A native of Lothian, Maryland, Captain Wilson brings with him 23 years of naval experience since entering the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in 1999. After earning his “Golden Wings In 2002, Captain Wilson was selected for EA/6B “Prowler”, the US Navy’s shipborne electronic attack platform stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA.
After completing his initial EA/6B training with the “Vikings” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, Captain Wilson embarked on his first operational tour at sea with the “Rooks” of VAQ-137 embarked on the USS Enterprise (CVN 65), where he participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom from 2003 to 2006.
Captain Wilson said he was hopeful and determined to continue on the path set by Captain Payne and Diego Garcia’s team to ensure the success of the mission.
“With this duty comes the responsibility for each of us to recognize our individual roles and where we can best apply our strengths, and to seek to shore up our weaknesses with the support of others, while also being vigilant in lending a helping hand, or heart, to those in need,” Captain Wilson said.
“Therefore I challenge myself and ask you to join me, just as you did with Captain Payne, in your commitments to our ‘ready to fight tonight’ mission, while preparing for tomorrow’s fight.”
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|DIEGO GARCIA, IO
|LOTHIAN, MD, United States
|PAMPA, TX, USA
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