Camp Lemonnier Hosts a Change of Command for Commanding Officer
Capt. Kevin Bertelsen relieved Capt. Scott Hurst as commanding officer of the United States only forward operating site in Africa.
Ambassador Geeta Pasi, U.S. Embassy, Djibouti; Rear Adm. Michael Franken, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa; Capt. Tsuyoshi Mukai, Japan Base commanding officer; Mr. Mohamed Guelleh, mayor of Djibouti City; Col. Abdourahman Aden Cher, chief of the Djibouti navy; Brig. Gen. William Kurtz, commander, French Forces Djibouti; Ambassador Atsushi Nishioka, Japan Embassy Djibouti; as well as nearly 200 U.S. and Djiboutian military, state officials and civilians gathered in the camp's recreation facility, 11 Degrees North, to welcome Bertelsen.
"It's my great privilege to take the helm of this dynamic, challenging and ever evolving enterprise," said Bertelsen. "It's very exciting to see such remarkable positive change and the expanded capabilities here even during my short seven months away."
Since Capt. Hurst took command in June 2011, he oversaw a period of exponential growth in mission support, including a $170 million military construction project list, which ensured the future success of the U.S. mission in Africa.
"Scott Hurst will go down in the history of this camp as the commander who turned the corner on "operations that drove the camp, to the camp which supported future operations," said Franken.
During the change of command ceremony, Capt. Hurst took time to specially recognize the uniqueness of Camp Lemonnier.
"I can say with some level of confidence that there is not a more "joint" base anywhere in the world," said Hurst. "A Navy base, protected by an Army force, with a predominately Air Force aviation mission."
During the ceremony Hurst received the Legion of Merit for his extraordinary work while serving as the camp commanding officer. After leaving Djibouti, Hurst will report to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla.
Camp Lemonnier provides, operates and maintains superior service to meet the needs of 25 tenant commands, and facilitate operations in the Horn of Africa, while promoting positive relations between the United States and African nations.
Captain Kevin Bertelsen, commanding officer Camp Lemonnier, salutes as he walks thought the sideboys at the Camp Lemonnier change of command ceremony, May 15. Bertelsen relieved Capt. Scott Hurst during the change of command at Camp Lemonnier.