Pekari Takes Command of U.S. Naval Activities Spain and Naval Station Rota

Pekari Takes Command of U.S. Naval Activities Spain and Naval Station Rota

Commander, U.S. Naval Activities Spain and Commanding Officer, Naval Station Rota held a change of command ceremony, May 16.

Captain Gregory S. Pekari relieved Captain Scott C. Kraverath, who had served in both positions since May 2011.

The Honorable Alan D. Solomont, United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and Andorra, congratulated Kraverath on Naval Station Rota’s many accomplishments, and remarked that Kraverath’s efforts in nurturing the U.S-Spanish relationship was more important than ever, as the base prepares to homeport four Aegis destroyers as Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in 2014-15.

“Susan and I would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to Capt. Scott Kraverath, [and] his wife Barbie, for their contribution to the U.S.-Spain relationship, for their service to our country and for their friendship,” said Solomont. “Scott has strengthened the partnership between the American and Spanish navies and he has fostered a close relationship between Rota Naval Base and the surrounding communities.”

Spanish Navy Rear Adm. Cristbal Gonzalez-Aller Lacalle, Admiral in Chief of Base Naval de Rota praised Kraverath’s leadership and willingness to work closely with his Spanish partners for the betterment of the base.

“We also share this naval station for more than 60 years, always working together with the spirit of collaboration, close mutual support,” Lacalle said. “Captain Kraverath has contributed a great manner to keep and make better this spirit with his work and leadership. As a result of his work and mutual cooperation we have very much increased the strength of our base.”

During the ceremony, Kraverath welcomed Pekari and his family, telling him if his future in Rota is much like Kraverath’s was, “it will fly by in a kaleidoscope of new experiences, friends and ‘you won’t believe what happened today’ stories. Soon you will recognize every face in the commissary and NEX. Enjoy it; this is a once-in-a lifetime tour, welcome and best of luck.”

Pekari commended Kraverath on the successes the command had experienced during Kraverath’s two years leading Team Rota, including the thorough planning and preparations associated with moving the destroyers to Spain.

“Your team, partnered with our Spanish friends, has done a fantastic job,” Pekari said. “Thank you for your leadership and paving the way for FDNF.”

He also expressed to the command his enthusiasm to begin working with the service members, civilians and families who keep Rota moving.

“To the men and women of Naval Station Rota – I look forward to the opportunity of serving you these next couple of years,” said Pekari. “I am both honored and humbled to be part of this fabulous team.”

Pekari graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in oceanography in 1989. He began his aviation career as a Naval Flight Officer on the S3-B Viking, which included deployments in support of Operations Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom. He later transitioned to the P-3C Orion where he completed a tri-site deployment to Qatar, Sicily and El Salvador, prior to assuming squadron command. Pekari reported to Rota from the Pentagon, where he served on the Joint Staff, J-8 directorate working in the Capabilities and Acquisition Division.

Kraverath, a 1989 graduate of Miami University (Ohio), is an E-6 Mercury Naval Flight Officer. His next assignment is Professor of Naval Science and Commanding Officer of NROTC, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Naval Station Rota, Spain is strategically located just north of the Strait of Gibraltar and is at the halfway point between the United States and Southwest Asia. Situated upon a Spanish Navy base, Naval Station Rota provides support for U.S. and NATO ships, supports the safe and efficient movement of U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force flights and passengers and provides cargo, fuel, and ammunition to units in the region.


Press Release, May 17, 2013