His call sign was “Cowboy” when he was a U.S. Navy aviator.
Now Rear Admiral Wes McCall rides on to head Navy Region Mid-Atlantic in Norfolk, Virgina. Capt. Ian L. Johnson relieved him Friday as commander of Navy Region Southeast at a ceremony at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
Navy Region Southeast is the U.S. Navy’s largest land-based component. It provides support to 18 installations and more than 500 smaller facilities across the southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean. Those bases include Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia. It oversees more than $10 billion in Navy infrastructure, with 9,000-plus personnel.
During the change of command ceremony, Johnson became the region’s 43rd commander.
“I want to express my gratitude for the honor and privilege of serving with you,” Johnson said . “What you do each day makes a difference not only for our Navy, but for our nation, as well. I know we will continue to build on the success this region has become known for.”.
In ending his two-year stint as the region’s commander, McCall told the team to “keep doing what you do.”
“I am very proud of the work we accomplished, all while focusing on the region’s core principles, of people, installations, innovation, supporting the warfighter and resiliency,” McCall said. “Working with you all was an absolute pleasure, and I will miss each and every one of you.”
Johnson is a 1994 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. After serving as a submarine officer, he went on to earn his master’s degree in engineering management. Previous assignments include commanding officer of Naval Station Newport and, most recently, chief of staff to the head of the Navy Installations Command.
An Oklahoma native, McCall graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in oceanography. He went on to become a naval aviator, earning a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies. McCall’s previous assignment was executive assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment.
Vice Adm. Yancy Lindsey, head of Navy Installations Command, presented McCall with the Legion of Merit for his performance of outstanding services and achievements during the ceremony Friday. That award stemmed from McCall’s work following the third-most active Atlantic Hurricane season on record as he secured $540 million for base restoration projects. That saved $400 million for the Navy. Lindsey called McCall’s work there “truly outstanding.”