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News | June 21, 2024

EMF 150 – Alpha changes command aboard MCB Camp Pendleton

By Curtis Hill

On Friday, June 21, 2024, Expeditionary Medical Facility 150 - Alpha conducted a change of command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Navy Capt. Elizabeth Smith relinquished command to Capt. Kenneth Basford in an outdoor ceremony with the Pacific Ocean in the background.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition which formally passes the authority and responsibility of command from one officer to another.

Capt. Jenny Burkett, Commander, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Camp Pendleton and Director, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, served as the presiding officer and presented Smith with the Legion of Merit medal in recognition of her exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service during her nearly two years in command of EMF 150 Alpha.
Navy Capt. Elizabeth Smith (left), outgoing Commanding Officer, Expeditionary Medical Facility 150 Alpha, salutes Capt. Jenny Burkett, Commander, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Camp Pendleton and Director, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, during the change of command ceremony for EMF 150 Alpha held June 21, 2024, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Smith relinquished command to Capt. Kenneth Basford and will transition to her new position within the 1st Marine Logistics Group.
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 240621-N-AS668-7316 Navy Capt. Elizabeth Smith (left), outgoing Commanding Officer, Expeditionary Medical Facility 150 Alpha, salutes Capt. Jenny Burkett, Commander, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Camp Pendleton and Director, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, during the change of command ceremony for EMF 150 Alpha held June 21, 2024, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Smith relinquished command to Capt. Kenneth Basford and will transition to her new position within the 1st Marine Logistics Group.

During her remarks, Burkett spoke of the myriad of accomplishments achieved by Smith and her team.

“They developed structure, policies, and training programs, ensuring that all 450 staff members were ready clinically, as well as operationally, for whatever Navy Medicine needed them for,” she said. “She led the EMF through its first exercise, KEEN SWORD, representing the US Navy Medicine team with the Japanese Self Defense Force in Okinawa, Japan.”

Smith addressed some of the challenges that came from being the first commanding officer.

“What was new about this was turning a platform into a command and then establishing a ‘command within a command’ and making it work,” said Smith. “The complexity of doing that during the largest transition in military medicine is a huge undertaking that required some foresight, a vision, some tenacity, some drive, a team with the winning mindset, and the ability to push through any challenge that got in the way.”

She also thanked her partners across her command, the NMRTC, and other commands across southern California who provided assistance, guidance, and mentorship throughout her tenure.

“To those partners that helped make this possible … we thank you for your willingness and generosity in sharing your expertise, your spaces, and your resources to allow this team to train and maneuver,” she added.

Smith closed by thanking her Sailors and her family for their support and patience.

Smith will transition to her new assignment within the 1st Marine Logistics Group.

Basford comes from Portsmouth, Virginia, where he served as the executive officer of EMF 150 Juliet.

He thanked his family for their support and addressed the Sailors of EMF 150 Alpha.

“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to be your commanding officer. My commitment to you all is to do my best every day to support you, eliminate obstacles and barriers so that as a team we can maximize medical readiness,” he said. “I look forward to the next couple of years and the great things we will accomplish together.”

Story originally posted on DVIDS: EMF 150 – Alpha changes command aboard MCB Camp Pendleton 
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