By MC1 Rosalie Chang, NMCB 4 Public Affairs
Cmdr. Jeffrey Lengkeek (left) transfers the battalion flag to Cmdr. James Cho during the change of command ceremony in Okinawa, Japan, where Cho relieved Lengkeek as commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4, July 8. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rosalie Chang/160708-N-DH124-149)
Cmdr. James Cho relieved Cmdr. Jeffrey Lengkeek as commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 during a change of command ceremony aboard Camp Shields in Okinawa, Japan, July 8.
The guest speaker, Capt. Jeffrey Kilian, commander, 30th Naval Construction Regiment, praised Lengkeek’s tenure as commanding officer.
“A commander is entrusted with significant responsibility and broad authority to carry out his or her orders, and is held to the highest standard of accountability,” said Kilian. “Cmdr. Lengkeek, you have completed this tour as a successful commanding officer, demonstrating sustained superior performance. You leave behind a legacy of new leaders, a testament to your leadership and to the professional team you’ve assembled. You have set the standard for excellence within the force.”
Kilian presented Lengkeek with the Meritorious Service Medal as an end-of-tour award. Lengkeek attributed the award to the hard work and support of the NMCB 4 Seabees and leadership.
“My command philosophy was ‘Mission First, Seabees Always’ and you executed it to perfection. I expected every Sailor to be an expert at their craft, to be a leader and professional, ready at all times and to execute every mission with pride and professionalism backed by nearly 75 years of ‘Can Do’ spirit, and you have done just that,” said Lengkeek.
“I am disappointed I will not see the end of this deployment, but I am sure NMCB 4 will continue to set the standard by building on our tremendous heritage, and being ready to operate forward, providing construction support to the warfighter, building partnerships and promoting peace and stability in the region,” he added.
Lengkeek assumed command of NMCB 4 in June of 2014. He lead the battalion through their first deployment to the Pacific Command Area of Responsibility in over five years, after repeated deployments to Central Command. Under his leadership, the command earned the Pacific Fleet Battle Effectiveness Award (Battle “E”) and successfully completed the new optimized fleet response training plan, certifying the battalion ready for deployment.
Lengkeek was selected for captain and has orders to Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) in Dam Neck, Virginia. Cho transferred from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest, serving as the public works officer at Naval Base San Diego.
Upon assuming command, Cho stated he is honored and humbled to be part of this unit of the construction force, especially NMCB 4, where he served his first Naval Construction Force tour as a junior officer.
“To the men and women of NMCB 4, there is no better place that I would rather be. Thank you for your dedication and continued sacrifices,” said Cho. “I pledge my total commitment and support to you, your families and to the nation we serve. I look forward to serving together and continuing to build on our legacy. You have my word that I will work every day to be the commanding officer this unit deserves.”
Capt. Jeffrey Killian, commander, 30th Naval Construction Regiment, places the Meritorious Service Medal on Cmdr. Jeffrey Lengkeek during the change of command ceremony aboard Camp Shields in Okinawa, Japan, July. 8. Cmdr. James Cho, transferring from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest relieved Lengkeek, who has orders to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rosalie Chang/160708-N-DH124-055)