By Lt.Cmdr. Russell Wolfkiel
SASEBO, Japan – Capt. Derek Brady relieved Capt. Adrian Ragland as commodore of Commander Mine Countermeasures Squadron (COMCMRON) Seven during a change of command ceremony held on the morning of 10 July 2020 at the fleet fitness facility of Fleet Activities Sasebo.Capt. Marvin Thompson, deputy commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7, presided over the event as the guest speaker and commended Capt. Ragland on his hard work and dedication while serving as commodore.“Your work ethic is legendary. You overcame your challenges with hard work and dedication,” said Thompson. “Your hard work positively affected a generation. You should be proud of your Sailors' success in mission accomplishments and certifications."The commodore is responsible for ensuring the organization, administration, training, readiness, and operations of the command are carried out in compliance with U.S. Navy policy. Members of the staff are subject to his orders in all matters pertaining to command duties.Capt. Ragland spoke fondly of his time serving in the Navy and as commodore of the squadron.“Serving and living in Japan has been the highlight of my twenty-five plus years in the Navy. As this will be my final tour serving in Japan, I will look back on these years with fond memories,” Ragland said.Capt. Brady took the reins of leadership with eagerness and enthusiasm. He is looking forward to serving as COMCMRON 7’s next commodore.“We will jealously guard the gains made in this squadron over the past three years while looking forward to advancing mine warfare in the Seventh Fleet area of operations,” Brady said.Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7, lauded Capt. Ragland's performance during his tenure commanding COMCMRON 7.“Capt. Adrian Ragland provided strong guidance and leadership to the mine countermeasures team here in our forward deployed naval force. The advances he has led in maintenance and readiness have made the ships of Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 a model of excellence in our task force,” said Kacher. “Captain Ragland leaves big shoes to fill but having worked with Captain Derek Brady for the last year, I know we have the right kind of leader to build on MCMRON's superb record of readiness and partnership with our regional allies and partners going forward.”COMCMRON 7 is a combined readiness and tactical staff reporting directly to the Commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet (CTF 76). The squadron consists of COMCMRON 7 staff, USS Patriot (MCM 7), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USS Warrior (MCM 10), USS Chief (MCM 14) and Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 Detachment 2 Alpha.COMCMRON 7 conducts integrated mine countermeasure operations using air, Surface, and explosive ordnance disposal assets in both exercise and regional conflict scenarios throughout the U.S. Seventh Fleet Area of Responsibility. Its objective is to provide safe channels for U.S. and allied shipping in addition to freedom of navigation operations for U.S. and allied naval forces in areas susceptible to enemy mining.