GRAZZANISE AIR BASE, Italy - 2nd NATO Signal Battalion changed command and bade farewell to American Army Lieutenant Colonel James Dooley, and welcomed American Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert (Bob) Topper on January 8th.
With over 60 guests in attendance, and presided over by Captain (RN) Greg Smith, (representing the NATO Communications and Information Systems Group commander, German Air Force Major General Wolfgang Renner), the ceremony was both bittersweet and joyous.
“It was an absolute honor for me to serve NATO in this capacity, and an unexpected privilege for me to command this battalion,” said Dooley. “Whether it's NATO Operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, or the undefined NRF Stand-by; or Exercises across Norway, Cincu, Thessaloniki, Kaunas, Bucharest, Menorca, or someplace I forgot to mention; 2NSB went to wherever NATO needed and got the mission done.”
LTC Dooley also spoke of his pride and gratefulness in having been in Command of 2NSB for three years, and while he looks forward to his retirement in Texas, he's saddened at leaving his NATO troops behind.
The Soldiers, Sailors, and Air Personnel of 2NSB’s HQ, DCMs, and M&S Coy were on formation proudly.
“My wife Angela and I are eagerly looking forward to meeting and serving with the service members of this battalion and their families,” said Topper. “We're excited about being a member of the NATO Community and likewise are committed to ensuring that our service members and their families are well taken care of.”
LTC Topper also spoke of the challenges ahead in NATO’s dynamic environment and his enthusiasm in leading 2NSB through them in the coming years.
GRAZZANISE AIR BASE, Italy - 2nd NATO Signal Brigade changed command and bade farewell to American Army Lieutenant Colonel James Dooley (right), and welcomed American Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert (Bob) Topper (left) in a ceremony presided over by British Royal Navy Captain Greg Smith (center), on January 8th. (Photo courtesy 2NSB)