JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – –
Capt. Kenneth Smith relieved Capt. Errol Laumann as Navy Information Operations Command Texas commanding officer during a ceremony held at the Bob Hope Theatre at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland March 3.
Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet deputy commander served as the guest speaker, offering remarks on the importance of NIOC Texas, the job that Laumann performed during his time at NIOC Texas, and how he felt Smith will perform going forward.
“As a deputy, I get to see a lot, as a submariner I get to see a lot," Bernacchi remarked, “I know better than most what you bring to the fight. It is important to know what, what happens in the space, cyberspace, and intelligence worlds going forward will win us wars. You have to know, your contributions to the U.S. are massive. You are punching above your weight. The fleet doesn’t stand a chance without you in the background. What you do really matters.”
About Laumann, Bernachii had to say, “You have got to leave your command better than when you got there, and I’ll tell you, you have. You ought to be immensely proud of your team and yourself. Smith is clearly a 5-star recruit. He has excelled in everything he has done. He is clearly the right man for the job, and I am excited for him.”
Laumann was presented with the Legion of Merit and a gift from the NIOC Texas Chiefs Mess before reading his orders and giving his parting remarks.
“Every day at NIOC Texas, I have been extremely honored to be able to lead such an amazing command,” Laumann said. He proceeded to go into how proud he was to see the command’s strides forward in the topic of taking care of their mental health and their movements towards embracing warrior toughness.
“There is no job too hard, too small, too dirty for NIOC Texas,” he added, going into how hard his Sailors have worked during his time at the command. “I ask that you give the same energy for Capt. Smith.” He proceeded to read his orders, and hand over command of NIOC Texas over to Capt. Smith.
Smith, having been the Executive Officer of NIOC Texas to Laumann, gave his remarks, closing out to the command with, “You are a dream for a CO. You have proven to be what our nation relies on. NIOC Texas, because you are always proudly showing our Navy core values, I can proudly lead this command,” he said.
NIOC Texas conducts information operations and provides cryptologic and related capability to the fleet, joint and national commanders, as well as administrative and personnel support to Department of the Navy members assigned to the San Antonio area. NIOC Texas is a subordinate command of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and comprises Task Force 1040 of the U.S. 10th Fleet.
For more information on NIOC Texas, visit the command’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NIOCTexas, or the public web page at https://www.navifor.usff.navy.mil/nioc-texas/.