NSWC Panama City Prepares for Change of Command & Retirement Ceremony

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. -

Sailors at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City are preparing for a ceremony that honors both outgoing and incoming commanding officers.

They are preparing for the change of command and retirement, something Navy men and women say is unique to other military branches.

"We want it to be very crisp. We want it to be very clean," said Chief Petty Officer of Logistics in the Aviation Unit, William Davenport.

Captain Aaron S. Peters will soon fulfill the duties as new Commanding Officer - a role Fleet Liaison Officer Thomas Dill says is a big task.

"All the responsibility is on you - for everything that happens in the command. It is a lot of heavy weight that is resting on that person's shoulders," said Dill.

       Captain Phillip E. Dawson III will retire after thirty years of service in the Navy, which includes three years of him serving as Commanding Officer.

Dill said the special send-off will be an emotional one.

"I think it's probably a bit bittersweet for everybody. Captain Dawson was a very long-termed Commanding Officer here," said Dill.

Davenport feels privileged to be a part of this unique transition.

"You're a piece of carrying on the tradition. Through doing this is a way of passing this on to our junior sailors, and it's also a good way of sending off," said Davenport.

The ceremony will be held this Friday at 10:00 a.m., and will be open to anyone on the base.


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