NAVAL SUPPORT FACILITY INDIAN HEAD, Md. --
Col. Michael L. Carter assumed command of Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command (MARFORCOM), from Col. Stephen E. Redifer during a change of command ceremony aboard Naval Support Facility Indian Head, Md., May 18, 2016.
Lt. Gen. John E. Wissler, commander of MARFORCOM, was the presiding officer for the change of command ceremony.
During the ceremony, Redifer received the Legion of Merit Award, Gold Star in lieu of second award for exceptionally meritorious conduct and the performance of outstanding service as CBIRF commanding officer.
“Steve, during your tour as the commanding officer, CBIRF has excelled in every endeavor,” commented Wissler during the reading of his message to Redifer. “Over the past three years your outstanding leadership, professionalism and untiring devotion to duty highlighted a tour that defined leader-driven, innovative excellence.”
Redifer reflected on his three year tour during the ceremony and shared his thoughts with the attendees.
“For the Sailors, Marines, and civilians of CBIRF – you have certainly taught me a lot and (because of) that I am a better Marine, a better father, and, I hope, a better husband,” said Redifer during his remarks. “You have taught me more than you will ever know.”
“Mike we have known each other a lot of years,” Redifer said to Carter during his remarks. “I know the ride you are about to go on and I know that you are absolutely the guy to take CBIRF and prepare them for what will be the Nation’s worst day should (CBIRF) ever be called out.”
Under Redifer’s command, CBIRF participated in Exercise Sudden Response, Exercise Vibrant Response, and Exercise Capital Shield each year in order to test and sharpen standing operations and concept plans. These demanding exercises built the capacity of CBIRF to integrate into supported Joint Task Forces and enabled the execution of combined military/civilian consequence management operations. The unit also supported several Presidential State of the Union addresses, Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., and the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.
Carter thanked Redifer for his outstanding work with CBIRF and said he was thankful for the opportunity to take command of the Nation’s premier chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives (CBRNE) consequence management and incident response force in readiness.
“General Wissler, sir, I understand my mission and I am prepared to execute that mission to the best of my abilities,” said Carter during his remarks. “To the CBIRF team, you are the epitome of readiness. I am very proud of your proven performance in protecting this nation.”
“When the Nation calls, just like it has in the past, the fine men and women of CBIRF will be found ready to response rapidly to any crisis, to any challenge, in any clime and place … to save lives,” Carter added.
“CBIRF is a national treasure, a strategic asset, that I am proud to command.”