SASEBO, Japan– Cdr. Robert Jones relieved Cdr. Morris Oxendine as commanding officer, Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7 at a change of command ceremony at Fleet Activities Sasebo, Jan. 12.
Oxendine made history when he was the first limited duty officer (LDO) to assume command of a United States Navy afloat unit. He was humbled by the commitment and support of his Sailors as he reflected on their shared successes during his tenure.
“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve with you as your commanding officer,” said Oxendine, outgoing commanding officer, NBU 7. “I know you’ll continue to accomplish great things under the leadership of Cdr. Jones.”
The ceremony's senior officer presiding, Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, commended Oxendine for his commitment to his Sailors and the mission during his speech.
"NBU 7 is a workhorse of the amphibious force, the landing craft and beach masters that enable our amphibious force to move Marines and equipment from ship to shore.” said Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet. “You and your team deserve a lot of credit for maintaining fully mission capable craft each and every time ESG-7 departed over the horizon on deployment.”
During Oxendine’s tenure as commanding officer, his leadership played a major role in amphibious exercises with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and regional partners, to include the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
In following naval tradition, Oxendine read his orders and relinquished command to Jones who read his orders and assumed command of NBU 7.
Jones takes command after serving as the executive officer of Naval Beach Unit 7. His previous assignments include tours with U.S. Central Command Headquarters, Amphibious Squadron 5, and Commander, Strike Force Training Pacific.
NBU 7 is responsible for amphibious operations including landing craft air cushion (LCAC) vehicles and landing craft utility (LCU) in support of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay(LPD 20), and the amphibious dock landing ships USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS Ashland (LSD 48) that make up Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11.