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NSF Redzikowo Hosts Change of Command

14 December 2023

From Region EURAFCENT Public Affairs

Capt. Ronel Reyes assumed command of Naval Support Facility (NSF) Redzikowo relieving Capt. John Bartak as commanding officer on Dec. 13, 2023. The time-honored tradition, shared alongside Polish military counterparts, underscored the enduring partnership between the United States and Poland and the collective security of Europe.
Capt. Ronel Reyes assumed command of Naval Support Facility (NSF) Redzikowo relieving Capt. John Bartak as commanding officer on Dec. 13, 2023. The time-honored tradition, shared alongside Polish military counterparts, underscored the enduring partnership between the United States and Poland and the collective security of Europe.

Rear Adm. Brad Collins, commander Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, presided over the ceremony, emphasizing the significance of the leadership change.

“Celebrating a change of command isn’t just about recognizing the many achievements of the outgoing [commanding officer] and welcoming new leadership,” said Collins. “It’s about closing one chapter and opening another. At each step along this journey, our COs and sailors have led the charge, forging and maintaining friendships and partnerships with our Polish community.”

Commissioned in 2020, NSF Redzikowo is the first U.S. installation in Poland, and the Navy’s newest base. The installation ushered in a new era of partnership and friendship, fostering the growth of the U.S.-Polish alliance. Beyond its symbolism, NSF Redzikowo plays a pivotal role in enhancing military readiness and strengthening the interoperability between U.S. and Polish forces.  

Serving as the most senior U.S. official in Redzikowo since December 2022, Capt. Bartak increased bilateral military efforts hosting joint-force security exercises ensuring seamless operations during emergency operations. Bartak also attended more than 100 engagements in the local community, expressing unwavering support and partnership with Polish allies.

Additionally, under Capt. Bartak’s leadership, construction of the Aegis Ashore deckhouse reached completion – paving the way for Redzikowo to join its sister site in Romania as part of NATO and the European Phased Adaptive Approach. The Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) serves as a critical pillar in the protection for all NATO European populations, territories, and forces against potential threats emanating from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.

“This mission-critical success comes at a time in the world where malign influences continue to test peace and stability, not just in the region, but across the world,” said Collins.

Bartak echoed that sentiment, thanking his Polish counterparts for their continued partnership and expressing gratitude for the relationships he built during his tenure at NSF Redzikowo.

“It is the strong bond of our collective relationships and friendships that enable our team to accomplish the mission regardless of the known and unknown challenges of tomorrow and beyond,” said Bartak.                 

In his first public statement as the new commanding officer, Capt. Reyes recognized the importance of NSF Redizkowo in the support of NATO and the strengthening of the U.S.-Poland partnership.

“In my short time here, I have quickly realized this small installation fills an enormous role in the overall Navy mission,” said Reyes. “Our presence in Poland communicates volumes to our partner nations and our Allies, as we continuously strengthen our commitment to them.”

Reyes also took a moment to recognize the Sailors and thank their families for the continued support while they embark on a crucial mission in support of peace and stability.

“Although this ceremony recognizes a change of leadership for this command, the true value of today is all about you — it’s our shipmates, our mentors, families and friends who provide immense support and serve as an inspiration for all of us to be successful and thrive,” said Reyes.

The Aegis Ashore site in Poland, in conjunction NSF Deveselu, Romania and the U.S. Navy destroyers forward deployed in Naval Station, Rota, Spain, expands a defensive capability that protects NATO European territories, populations and forces against ballistic missiles launched from outside the Euro-Atlantic region.

Navy Region EURAFCENT provides mission-critical logistics and support to the warfighter, their families, and the fleet across seven countries, enabling U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed to maintain security, stability, and freedom of navigation in the European, African, and Central Command areas of responsibility.

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