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New commander for FOB Trapani
Under a blue Sicilian sky, Major General Andrew Mueller, E-3A Component Commander, inspected the troops standing in formation on the apron of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Trapani, Italy. The occasion: the FOB change of command ceremony on June 3, 2014.
After the passing of the flags, symbolizing the relinquishing and assuming of command, General Mueller addressed the distinguished guests, personnel and families, "As the Commander, I depend on the FOB to provide flexibility for training and real world operations, such as we are experiencing today with missions to Poland and Romania. Today, we hand the responsibility of command of the FOB to Lieutenant Colonel Massimo Simotti,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Massimo Simotti, ITA AF, addresses the invited guests, personnel and families in his first speech as Forward Operating Base Commander Trapani, at Sicily, Italy.Lt. Colonel Simotti, the new FOB Commander, said, "I feel honoured not only by the chance I am being given to be a NATO commander for this outstanding unit, but also because I am taking command during a moment of great challenge for all of those involved in real world operations.”
He continued, "Having been an E-3A Component crewmember in Geilenkirchen for more than four years, I am well conscious of the problems and needs typical of this environment. I will have the understanding of my national authorities, the important support of mother-base Geilenkirchen and the full and unconditional cooperation of FOB personnel, whom I have seen working diligently under the direction of Lieutenant Fiume, and I am sure they are up to the challenge of reaching new goals.”
Due to the unexpectedly early departure of FOB Commander Lieutenant Colonel Gabriele Gualazini, First Lieutenant Giovanni Fiume was interim FOB Commander from December 19, 2013, to June 3, 2014. He was the youngest Commander the FOB ever had. Fiume will remain with the FOB and resume his duties as Operations Officer and Deputy FOB Commander.