Naval Magazine Indian Island changes command

Posted 7/3/19

The outgoing commanding officer of Naval Magazine Indian Island officially passed his command to another officer June 28, but he’s set to remain in the area, as his next assignment will be on the staff of Commander, Navy Region Northwest in Silverdale, Washington.

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Naval Magazine Indian Island changes command

Posted

The outgoing commanding officer of Naval Magazine Indian Island officially passed his command to another officer June 28, but he’s set to remain in the area, as his next assignment will be on the staff of Commander, Navy Region Northwest in Silverdale, Washington.

Cmdr. Rocky Pulley reflected on his past two years as “part of something special” as commanding officer of Indian Island, while Cmdr. Donald Emerson pledged not only to meet Pulley’s standards as the new commanding officer, but to advance them in the two years to come.

Commander, Navy Region Northwest, Rear Adm. Scott Gray noted that, under Pulley’s two years in command, Indian Island personnel safely handled more than 123,000 tons of conventional ordnance, without any significant issues.

“Under Rocky’s leadership, Indian Island has been successful and met every operational requirement they’ve been asked to do in support of the Navy, Marine Corps, the Air Force, the Army and America’s allies throughout the Pacific,” Gray said, before presenting Pulley with the Meritorious Service Medal for his “outstanding service” as commanding officer of the installation.

Gray cited Pulley’s role in building up Naval Magazine Indian Island’s civilian and military workforce, securing $36 million in funding for the construction of modern munitions storage magazines, upgrading its telecommunications infrastructure, and bolstering its relationships in the community with local governments, Native American tribes and Jefferson County residents.

“This base injects $20 million into the local community each year,” Gray said. “We’ve worked with the tribes on the repatriation of human remains from Indian Island, and our firefighters regularly participate in calls out in the surrounding community.”

Gray also took the time to list the awards that Naval Magazine Indian Indian Island earned under Pulley’s tenure for their stewardship of the environment, including the Secretary of the Navy Gold Energy Award in 2017 and 2018, the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award in 2017 and 2018, Voluntary Protection Program Star Site recertification in 2018, and the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award in 2019.

Over the roughly three decades that Gray has served in the Navy, he estimated there are even more threats facing our nation now than there were during the Cold War.

“Our mission is growing, and our funding is short,” Gray said. “It’s the job of installations like this to ensure that our war-fighters have what they need … if God forbid, they need it.”

Pulley expressed pride in the milestones that Naval Magazine Island Island achieved under his watch, while taking care to extend credit for achieving those marks to the sailors who worked under him.

“I could not have served with a finer group of individuals, and I know you will deliver the same level of support to Cmdr. Emerson,” Pulley said. “Because the Pacific Northwest team is just that — one team.”

Pulley also joined Gray in voicing their confidence in the command abilities of Emerson, who’s logged more than 2,400 flight hours in both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft since he first earned his wings in December of 2004.

“Going forward, I hope to expand upon Cmdr. Pulley’s accomplishments, continue to meet the installation’s mission requirements in a safe and efficient manner, and build a stronger team both on the Island and in the community,” Emerson said.

Emerson is assuming command of the U.S. Navy’s only deep-water ammunition port on the West Coast, with a 1,600-foot pier that can handle the largest Navy and commercial vessels afloat.

The 2,700-acre island is also home to the Department of Defense’s largest ordnance storage site on the West Coast, with more than 100 magazines that store conventional munitions, ranging from small arms ammunition to aircraft ordnance to ship-launched missiles.

An average of 50 vessels stop at the island each year, including aircraft carriers, guided-missile destroyers, guided-missile submarines, ammo ships, U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats, Military Sealift Command vessels, and commercial barges and container ships.

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