CORONADO, Calif. – Capt. R. A. “Rocky” Rochford relieved Capt. Kevin P. Flanagan as commander, Naval Beach Group (NBG) 1, during a change of command and retirement ceremony aboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, August 12.
“You, as a person, have changed so many lives in a very positive way,” said guest speaker Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “And as we reflect on that service, and as we reflect upon the fantastic years that you have spent serving our Navy and Marine Corps team and our nation, I can’t begin to thank you enough for everything. But most importantly, for those lives that you changes, for the lives that you got on the right path and made a difference in their lives. I think that is really important.”
Rowden went on to welcome Rochford and his family to San Diego. He also expressed his expectations of Rochford to accelerate NBG 1 even further than before.
After receiving the Legion of Merit and retirement certificate from Rear Adm. Dan Fillion, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, Flanagan took the podium to address his staff and Sailors.
“There hasn’t been a single day since I’ve been in command of Naval Beach Group 1 that I haven’t been proud of all of you and how you’ve gone about executing our mission,” said Flanagan. “I consider you to be some of the very best Sailors in the United States Navy. And without a doubt, some of the very best women and men our nation has to offer.”
Flanagan went on to express his gratitude to the close friends he made over his 30 years of naval service and praise his family.
Under Flanagan, NBG 1 took part in several large-scale, joint exercises that include Combined Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore 2013, Pacific Horizon 2014, Dawn Blitz, Brilliant Scepter 2014 and Native Fury 2015 in the 5th Fleet Area of Operation.
After the official reading of their orders, Rochford assumed command and addressed the guest.
“Most of the places where we work around the globe continue to be challenging environments,” said Rochford. “The political complexities around the Pacific and throughout the Middle East show no signs of clarity in the immediate future. And the threats that we and our allies face
around the globe make us, the beach group, even more relevant today.”
Rochford, a native of Scutuate, Massachusetts, gradated Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1985. He was previously the commander of Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron 3 before taking the helm of NBG 1.
Commissioned in 1948, NBG 1 oversees the operations for Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, Assault Craft Unit 1, Assault Craft Unit 5, and Beachmaster Unit 1. NBG 1 mission is to command the Naval Support Element during amphibious exercises and operations.