PEARL HARBOR -- Afloat Training Group (ATG) Middle Pacific (MIDPAC) held a change of command ceremony at Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam April 22.
Capt. John M. Figuerres was relieved by Cmdr. Timothy Wilke as commanding officer, ATG MIDPAC.
Capt. Mark Sakaguchi, commodore, ATG Pacific, was the guest speaker during the ceremony.
In his speech, Sakaguchi commended Figuerres for a job well done as the commanding officer of ATG MIDPAC during the last three years and the hard work of the ATG personnel, commenting on their responsibilities and roles within their community.
"John, I want to thank you for your support, professionalism and leadership here on the waterfront," said Sakaguchi. "Although we have built the Surface Force Readiness Manual (SFRM) from the top down, you have established a firm foundation in understanding fleet training that will support the tenants of the SFRM well into the future."
Following his speech, Sakaguchi presented Figuerres with the Legion of Merit award.
Figuerres thanked his Sailors, saying, "It has been my extreme honor to serve as your commanding officer for the last three years. The challenges we faced were many of the same of what we have always confronted-high tempo and low manning. I would like to think that we achieved what I set out to do but the true answer to that question could only come from you. During our time together, I watched as we came together as a team."
During the ceremony, Figuerres and Wilke read their orders followed by the ceremonious salute to symbolize the official changeover of command.
"Capt. Figuerres, you've turned over a great team and I hope to build upon your success," said Wilke. "I truly appreciate the guidance you provided me these past few months in preparing me for this assignment. Strong coordination and communication with all of you will be one of my main focuses here at ATG MIDPAC."
ATG MIDPAC's mission is to provide safe and effective training to the Pacific Fleet and Coast Guard ships. Command members assist commanders in assessing ships' training readiness and provide training necessary to meet basic training standards.