CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan --
Combat Logistics Battalion 31, part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, held an official change of command ceremony on the parade field here, June 7, as Lt. Col. William E. Arick relinquished command to Maj. Omar J. Randall.
The ceremony featured platoons representing each element of the 31st MEU logistics combat element: the headquarters platoon, the communications platoon, the engineer platoon, the maintenance platoon, the motor transport platoon, and the supply and landing support platoon.
Music was provided by the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band and distinguished guests included Brig. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake, commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Brigade; Brig. Gen. Craig G. Crenshaw, commanding general of 3rd Marine Logistics Group; Col. John E. Merna, commanding officer of the 31st MEU; and Col. Andrew R. MacMannis, former commanding officer of the 31st MEU.
Arick took command of CLB 31 in June 2010, supporting the 31st MEU during two humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations and five regular patrols of the Asia Pacific region.
Under Arick's command, CLB 31 provided valuable logistical support to response efforts to Typhoon Megi in the Philippines and the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters during Operation Tomadachi in northern Japan.
"His value, and the efforts of the CLB, was instrumental to the success and support we gave to both the Philippines and Japan," said MacMannis, commanding officer of the 31st MEU during the relief operations. "We, the MEU, could not have done it without the CLB."
During this time, CLB 31 also supported bilateral and multilateral training exercises in Japan, South Korea, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Australia.
While CLB 31's accomplishments highlight Arick's exceptional ability in supporting the Marine Corps' most continuously operational unit, the outgoing commander's final message focused on the value of his Marines efforts.
"You make a difference in this theater (Asia-Pacific), in the Marine Corps and in this world with what you do." said Arick, "I cannot thank you enough and it has been all you. I am humbled by you and it was an honor to be your commander."
Arick will remain on Okinawa following the ceremony, reporting to III MEF Headquarters for his next duty.
Randall takes command of the unit after serving as the joint logistics planner, Logistics Plans Division, Directorate for Logistics and Engineering, Headquarters United States Central Command.
Randall has previously served as the transportation support detachment commander, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and battalion logistics officer for Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Expeditionary Unit.