PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Naval Diving and Training Center held a Change of Command Ceremony to welcome their new Commanding Officer Troy Lawson.

“I started here in 1991 as a student,” Lawson said. “To be back here in command of the unit, it’s outstanding and it’s a dream come true.”

Commander Lawson takes over for Commander Erich Frandrup.

“My predecessor Erich has done an amazing job and my plan is to build on the things he’s put in place and continue training the world’s greatest divers,” Lawson said.

Frandrup trained an estimated 2,500 students during his two years at the dive school.

Navy officials applauded him for his diligence in navigating the seamen through the pandemic.

They had to make many adjustments to continue to learn.

“Installing mechanisms around the command to open our doors with our feet– minimizing virus spread through high-contact door handles,” Frandrup said.

Frandrup’s next assignment is with the office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

He thanks the Panama City community for their kindness while serving his duties here.