NAVFAC Marianas Changes Command


Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas held a change of command ceremony in Santa Rita, Guam Aug. 14.

Capt. Glenn Shephard relieved Capt. John Heckmann as commanding officer.

Guest speaker Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, commander, Joint Region Marianas (JRM), spoke about Heckmann’s accomplishments and praised him for setting a new standard of excellence.

 “John, because of your outstanding leadership, your exacting standards, relentless work ethic and your high expectations, the most impressive legacy you leave in your wake is your workforce – a team of over 400 talented, well-trained and high performing individuals,” he said. “Every one of them and every one of us will miss you.”

Payne spoke about the wide range of projects Heckmann has been directly involved with and responsible for, including the new U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, wharf upgrades at Apra Harbor and accommodations for the planned transfer of thousands of Marines and their family members to the island.

In recognition of that exemplary service, Heckmann received the Legion of Merit award from visiting Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, NAVFAC Pacific.

Heckmann served a dual role for the Navy on Guam by fulfilling the position of JRM regional engineer. His responsibilities included real estate and construction management, providing power and water utilities, and ensuring endangered species and environmentally or historically sensitive areas were not adversely impacted by military operations.

Heckmann said he was proud to have led the NAVFAC Marianas team since taking command in July 2011 and spoke about his focus on promoting mission execution, integrity, and leadership as values that guided him during his tour.

 “We took some calculated risks, but the team approached every challenge and came up with innovative ways to make sure that we got that ultimate mission done,” he said. “That was the dedication of the team that was really coming through,” he said.

Heckmann also thanked the friends he made on Guam, the organizations he worked with and especially praised the work of the non-profit Society of American Military Engineers, which he served under as president.

“We have enjoyed experiencing nearly everything that is great about Guam. While I know I will miss the beauty of this island, we will miss the generous hospitality of the people even more.”

Heckmann will assume his next duty station as operations officer for NAVFAC headquarters at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

Prior to arriving on Guam, Shephard served as executive office for NAVFAC Northwest.

Following Heckmann’s remarks, Shephard assumed command of NAVFAC Marianas and addressed his new staff, which he described as a “superbly professional, highly credentialed and energetic team.” He also recognized the contributions made by support contractors and regulating partners of NAVFAC Marianas.

 “For Sandra and I, we look forward to integrating and becoming family members of the island of Guam and serving with you throughout the Marianas,” he said.

NAVFAC Marianas provides a wide range of services that include electricity, water, steam, air, and wastewater treatment utilities, as well as maintenance and operation of a fleet of vehicles and heavy equipment. The command designs, develops, and executes construction contracts, while also offering environmental support as needed.

Press Release, August 15, 2013