Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific holds virtual change of Command Ceremony amid Covid-19 pandemic

Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific command leaders Commander Randy J. Berti (right), Lieutenant Colonel Kevin M. Ryan (center), and Command Senior Enlisted Leader Paul James (left) stand together as a triad one the last time following the conclusion of Thursday’s Covid-modified Change of Command ceremony.
Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific command leaders Commander Randy J. Berti (right), Lieutenant Colonel Kevin M. Ryan (center), and Command Senior Enlisted Leader Paul James (left) stand together as a triad one the last time following the conclusion of Thursday’s Covid-modified Change of Command ceremony.

Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific holds virtual change of Command Ceremony amid Covid-19 pandemic

by Andrew Grage
Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan – Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific (FRCWP) Commanding Officer, Commander Randy J. Berti (USN), was relieved of command by Lieutenant Colonel Kevin M. Ryan (USMC) during an intimate change of command ceremony at Naval Air Facility Atsugi on February 25.

Faced with yet another obstacle due to COVID-19, FRCWP met the challenge by executing a virtual change of command ceremony while following all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense and local guidelines.

A change of command typically consists of an impressive ceremony rooted in military tradition. Attended by the entire command, family, friends, and other dignified guests, it recognizes the achievements made under the incumbent Commanding Officer and officially transfers control to their successor.

Cmdr. Berti and LtCol Ryan, along with their immediate family and Command Senior Enlisted leader, CMDCS Paul James, in the room, executed the change of command ceremony to the fullest extent possible under the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Commander Fleet Readiness Centers (COMFRC) Commander, Rear Adm. Trent DeMoss, presided over the ceremony via phone to share his accolades of Cmdr. Berti and wish him luck as he prepares to relocate to his next position at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He also warmly welcomed LtCol Ryan as the new Commanding Officer and affirmed that the command was in good hands under his leadership.

Cmdr. Berti joined FRCWP in January 2019.Under his leadership, the command performed planned interval maintenance (PMI) on 70 aircraft and completed 1,363 in-service repair jobs on more than 15 different type/model/series aircraft across nine ashore locations and eight afloat ships in support of Navy and Marine Corps warfighters around the world.

Additional highlights from Cmdr. Berti’s tenure in Japan include, the first K-fitting replacement on a MV-22C Osprey performed by a foreign contractor outside of the continental United States, execution of the first multiple award contract (MAC) for the KC-130J Hercules, closing down PMI lines in Guam and Malaysia, and standing up new lines in Canada and the United Kingdom, and supported the five deployed U.S. Navy aircraft carriers simultaneously – a new milestone for the command.

“As the sole OCONUS depot-level maintenance command supporting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, it was imperative to me that we provide world-class support to our customers and return safe, mission-ready aircraft to our customers all around the world,” said Cmdr. Berti. “We achieved some significant milestones over the last few years, but this is just the start for FRCWP. LtCol Ryan is an extremely gifted leader and will continue to define this command as a world-class maintenance, repair, and overhaul organization.”

LtCol Ryan joined FRCWP as the Executive Officer in June 2019. Previously stationed at Fleet Readiness Center East, he served as the Military Director for Aircraft, Maintenance and Material and was directly accountable to the fleet customer for the annual production of approximately 100 aircraft, 80 aircraft engines and 21,000 aircraft components.

He holds a Master of Science in Engineering Systems from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with combat distinguishing device and 6th strike/flight award, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4th Award), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3rd award).

Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) Western Pacific is a global maintenance, repair, and overhaul solution dedicated to sustaining and optimizing the performance of U.S. military aviation assets. Utilizing a carefully-selected global network of foreign commercial industry partners, skilled federal artisans, and military specialists, FRC Western Pacific provides customers with scheduled and responsive, in-service maintenance and repair support wherever their missions take them. FRC Western Pacific is proud to support 15+ different models of aircraft including both the U.S. military’s newest and longest-serving aviation assets.

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