New Marine Corps Base Hawaii Commander Assumes Command

Col. Brian P. Annichiarico assumed command of Marine Corps Base Hawaii from Lt. Col. Michael P. Antonio during a change of command ceremony at the base flagpole Thursday.

Photo by Pfc. James Sauter Lt. Col. Michael P. Antonio presents the Marine Corps Base Hawaii battle colors to Col. Brian P. Annichiarico during a change of command ceremony at the base flagpole Thursday. Antonio will resume his previous position as the base director of operations and training after serving as the interim base commanding officer for a month. “It’s truly humbling to be here,” Annichiarico said. “You never get a second chance at a first good impression, and the impression I have of the team here is unbelievable.” Annichiarico has held numerous staff positions and deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of Operation Determined Falcon in Kosovo in 1998. He commanded Marine Attack Squadron 231 “Ace of Spades” while deployed to Al Asad Air Base, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well.

Antonio will resume his previous position as the base director of operations and training after serving as the interim base commanding officer for a month.

During the ceremony, the guest of honor, Col. Leo A. Falcam, deputy commander, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, applauded Antonio for his leadership as the base commanding officer.

“Lt. Col. Antonio, your experience and leadership [as commanding officer] has served you well and should be commended,” Falcam said.

Annichiarico, an AV-8B Harrier pilot, recently performed the duties as head of the Aviation Branch for Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. He said he plans to continue the Hawaii Strategic Plan for 2011-2015 of supporting current and future training requirements, providing quality training facilities, maintaining good order and discipline on base, force protection, heighten safety awareness, environmental conservation and maintaining a quality workforce.

“It’s truly humbling to be here,” Annichiarico said. “You never get a second chance at a first good impression, and the impression I have of the team here is unbelievable. We have challenges ahead with an uncertain economic outlook, but this well oiled team here is prepared to take on those challenges.”

Annichiarico said that his main goal is continuing the ongoing support of the warfighter and their families as they train for deployments and other exercises.

“He has excelled as the [Ace of Spades] commanding officer and has an in-depth experience as a [Marine Air Ground Task Force] officer,” Antonio said. “He is well versed in strategic studies and policy, and the diversity of his career has more than prepared him to succeed as the commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.”

Annichiarico has been awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, four Air Medals, a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

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