Capt. Vincent Martinez relieved Capt. Thomas Smith, II, as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) during a change of command ceremony at Indian Head, Md., June 26.
Martinez served most recently as the Deputy Director, Navy Staff, Pentagon Washington, D.C. A native of Syracuse, New York, Martinez received his commission from Officer Candidate School in 1988. His initial training included Surface Warfare, Basic Diving and Salvage Officer and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). He has earned designations as a Surface Warfare Officer, Special Operations Officer, Master EOD Technician, Naval Parachutist and Acquisition Professional. He has a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy.
Martinez reflected on the recently merged organization, thanked Smith for his leadership, praised the workforce and expressed his excitement at taking charge of a great command.
"Tom has done an outstanding job consolidating two organizations on either side of the Mattawoman Creek," said Martinez. "He has built a bridge to the future for this Surface Warfare Center, and we cannot thank him enough for his dedication and diligence. If we reflect why Indian Head was established, and its' importance, then it becomes apparent that we must continue the work and tradition that has made this place along the Potomac vital to our Navy and Nation. Every civilian, military and contractor contributes and plays a vital role in this command's mission. We shall continue to capitalize on Capt. Smith's work through transparency and trust with each other and with the warfighter. We shall inspire and foster creative and critical thinking - because without us - those operators at sea or in the field may not have the resources to complete their mission."
After presenting Smith with the Defense Superior Service Medal, guest speaker Rear Adm. Lawrence Creevy, commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center, highlighted Smith's legacy and welcomed Martinez aboard.
"Capt. Smith has demonstrated the utmost courage over the past four years, and there's no doubt in my mind that there are men and women - both uniformed and civilian - who are alive today because of this man," said Creevy. "And the Navy wouldn't be asking Capt. Martinez to take on responsibility of command if he wasn't up to the task. He brings an extensive amount of operational experience to the NSWC Indian Head EOD Technology team."
Smith thanked the NSWC IHEODTD workforce for their contributions to the fleet throughout his tour of duty.
"Looking back at the past four years, I can't help but be very proud of the Indian Head team and how we faced our many challenges together," said Smith. "The bottom line is that Indian Head EOD Technology Division has always delivered, and must continue to deliver. Your new commanding officer and I have known each other for more than 25 years. He is a warfare expert, a warrior unequalled in our community. You should be so excited to have him as your new commanding officer, along with your new Technical Director, Mr. Ashley Johnson. I know this organization will flourish under their leadership."
Under his leadership, Smith accomplished the successful merger of two Warfare Center Divisions into a recognized center of excellence for ordnance, energetics and EOD technology. Further, he provided exceptional support to the Joint EOD forces by rendering more than $2 million per year across the future years Defense plan, and delivering capability in support of nine joint urgent operational needs statements, directly benefiting joint service EOD technicians. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized the NSWC IHEODTD EOD campus as a Voluntary Protection Program Star Site - designated for worksites with exemplary safety and health management systems.
Smith took command of Naval Surface Warfare Center Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NAVEODTECHDIV), Sept. 24, 2010. In this capacity, he also served as the Department of Defense deputy manager for EOD Technology. While commanding NAVEODTECHDIV, Smith subsequently assumed command of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division, Oct. 5, 2012. In February 2013, when Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) directed the merger of these two organizations, Smith became the first Commanding Officer of NSWC IHEODTD. He next reports to Joint Staff, Fort Belvoir, Va.
NSWC IHEODTD - a NAVSEA field activity and part of the Navy's Science and Engineering Enterprise - is a leader in ordnance, energetics and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.