Command changes at Naval Base Kitsap

Naval Base Kitsap conducted a change of command Feb. 17 at Bangor where Capt. John Hale relieved Capt. Richard Massie as commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s third-largest fleet concentration area in the United States.

“Today we are here to honor someone who has, in fact, been an incredible steward of Naval Base Kitsap,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer, U.S. representative for Washington’s 6th District, who served as guest speaker. Kilmer talked of the importance of being a “loving critic” – to not just accept the Navy as it is, but to strive to improve it.

“In addition to handling delicate situations with finesse and with care, Captain Rich Massie and his leadership of Naval Base Kitsap has been a steward,” Kilmer said. “I’m grateful as a dad, who is conscious of the fact that my kids live in a community that is stronger, and a country that is safer because of his leadership and his service.”

Massie assumed command in September 2021 as the world faced COVID-19. He will retire after 30 years of service. “There are some things I definitely won’t miss, but there are many, many things that I will, including working with all of the incredible leaders in the community and on base,” Massie said.

Hale assumes command following his most recent assignment as deputy for training at Submarine Squadron 19 on NBK. “Although we are not home base to combatant commanders or fleet commanders, the Kitsap Peninsula is nonetheless a significant and important fleet concentration area that is home to some of the most important work in the United States Navy,” Hale said.

NBK provides base operating services, including support for surface ships, submarines and shore commands homeported at Bangor, Bremerton, Jackson Park, Keyport and Manchester.