(March 24, 2021) Capt. Ted Carlson is pinned with the U.S. Navy Command Ashore insignia at the Naval Base San Diego change of command ceremony. On March 24, 2021 Naval Base San Diego held a change of command ceremony where Capt. Ted Carlson relieved Capt. Mark Nieswiadomy of command for Naval Base San Diego. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Austin Haist.
Capt. Ted Carlson assumes command of Naval Base San Diego from Capt. Mark Nieswiadomy
Story by Krishna Jackson, Naval Base San Diego
SAN DIEGO -- Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) hosted a Change of Command with Capt. Ted Carlson relieving Capt. Mark Nieswiadomy March 24, 2021.
“The change of command is a cornerstone of our Navy, providing a chance to celebrate past accomplishments and to look forward toward the future,” said Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, regional commander, Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW) during the ceremony.
“Ted, I’m betting that you’re the most excited person here today,” said Bolivar to Carlson, the incoming commanding officer (CO). “Congratulations on being selected for this assignment and welcome to the Southwest Region team.”
Due to COVID-19 and all metro-San Diego installations being in health protection condition (HPCON) Charlie minus, the live ceremony included a small number of staff and guests but was streamed live to a wider audience on social media.
“Despite COVID-19, we are able do this small in-person ceremony but also to stream it virtually to the Naval Base San Diego team, family and friends,” said Nieswiadomy, outgoing CO, during the ceremony.
NBSD, and most of the installations that fall under CNRSW, have been in HPCON Charlie minus for a little more than a year but NBSD has continued its mission of supporting the fleet, fighter and their families, especially on the waterfront, where the fleet continues to prepare for and deploy around the world.
“With this changing environment, so did the Naval Base San Diego team also change and adapt. For us to just close the gates and shelter in place was not an option because of the crucial role this base has in defense of our great nation,” said Nieswiadomy before thanking many of the men and women that are part of the installation’s active duty and civilian staff.
Nieswiadomy and his team met many challenges in 2020 with COVID-19 and a catastrophic fire on board one of the Navy’s amphibious assault ships.
“His team provided extraordinary support while assisting in firefighting efforts aboard USS Bonhomme Richard LHD 6,” said Bolivar as she read Nieswiadomy’s end of tour award citation. “Demonstrating extraordinary crises management and leadership, he ensured the seamless synchronization of first responders with federal and state and local agencies and organizations during the worst shipboard fire in the history Naval Base San Diego.”
During Nieswiadomy’s speech, he shared 10 affirmations he felt were proven through his role as the NBSD CO.
“All of us as leaders are a work in progress because things change and people change and so must we, so in my final minutes on the podium I want to share what this past year as the CO of NBSD has re-affirmed to me as leader to be true,” said Nieswiadomy.
Nieswiadomy is moving on to support CNRSW as the chief of staff (CoS) after completing almost two years at the helm as base commander. Both Nieswiadomy and Carlson are surface warfare officers and have served as CO’s on board destroyers.
“Ted, I’m confident that the jobs you’ve held have prepared you well to take on the reins. Make every moment count because as Mark can attest, time goes by awfully fast in this job,” said Bolivar.
Carlson is from Orange County and currently lives in Coronado, Calif. He began his career as an enlisted Sailor and 10 years later earned his commission in 1999. He has led USS Gravely (DDG 107) as the CO and executive officer and as CoS for Commodore, Amphibious Squadron Five. His other sea duty assignments include USS Thach (FFG 43) and USS Barry (DDG 52).
“After serving almost 32 years in the Navy and having already commanded the mighty warship Gravely, to have the great fortune to command again, is truly a special privilege,” said Carlson.
Ashore, Carlson served at U.S. European Command; North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command; Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic; Tactical Training Group Pacific and Naval Surface Force Pacific. Throughout his career he has completed multiple deployments and supported numerous operations including Operation Restore Hope, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve as well as the non-combatant evacuation of Lebanon.
NBSD is homeport to more than 60 ships and 200 plus tenant commands with almost 50,000 people living, working or visiting the base daily.
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