In a traditional Navy change of command ceremony Capt. Mary E. Dexterrelieved Capt. David W. Bellaas the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair (SUPSHIP) Gulf Coast on Feb. 24. Bella was the first SUPSHIP Gulf Coast, which resulted from the summer 2003 merger of SUPSHIPs New Orleans, LA and Pascagoula, MS.
Rear Adm. Mark A. Hugel, deputy commander for Logistics, Maintenance and Industrial Operations, Naval Sea Systems Command (SEA 04), spoke and presented Captain Bella with the Legion of Merit.
Hugel paid tribute to Bella's strong leadership as he molded the two SUPSHIPs into one and in meeting the challenges of quickly restoring his command following Hurricane Katrina
Dexter reports from duty as Head of the Engineering Duty Officer Assignment Branch at the Navy Personnel Command
, Millington, Tenn. Her responsibilities there included community management and assignment/transfer of the Navy's 856 Engineering Duty Officers. Dexter has served previously at both of the former Gulf Coast SUPSHIPs.
The ceremony also served to mark Bella’s retirement after 27 years of service.