By Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeff A. Johnstone
Special to American Forces Press Service
May 22, 2007 – Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. "Buz" Buzby assumed command of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, relieving Navy Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., during a change-of-command ceremony here today. JTF-Guantanamo's mission is to provide safe and humane care and custody of detained enemy combatants. Task Force officials also conduct interrogation operations to collect strategic intelligence in support of the war on terror and to support law enforcement and war crimes investigations.
"What you do here is of crucial importance to the global war on terror," Adm. James G. Stavridis told members of the joint task force at the ceremony. "I am proud of you and I believe you do your jobs in a transparent and humane way, and it's crucially important that you continue to do that."
Stavridis, commander of U.S. Southern Command, then bid farewell to Harris and welcomed Buzby.
Harris, who commanded JTF-Guantanamo for a year, will assume responsibilities as director of Operations, U.S. Southern Command in Miami, Fla. Taking his leave, he thanked the troops serving at Guantanamo.
"I am honored to have served with men and women for whom integrity and honor are a way of life," he said. "Our mission here is bigger than any one of us, but by working together and taking care of each other, you have accomplished amazing things."
Prior to assuming command of JTF-Guantanamo, Buzby served on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as deputy director, Expeditionary Warfare.
In his remarks to his new troops, he vowed to do his best.
"I pledge to you that I will be the very best commander that I can be, every minute of every day," said Buzby. "I only ask that you continue to display the strength, courage and professionalism that enables this to command to execute so safely, humanely and so honorably."
(Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeff A. Johnstone is assigned to JTF-Guantanamo Public Affairs)
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