Pictured: Cmdr. Ryan Carey (left) passes the battalion flag to Cmdr. Andrew Olsen during the change of command ceremony at Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme on June 4, 2021. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy, taken by Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Michael Schutt. 

by Kimberly Rivers

On June 4, as part of a standard two-year rotating timeline, Navy Base Ventura County (NBVC) at Port Hueneme received a new commanding officer. 

Cmdr. Ryan Carey was relieved of command by Cmdr. Andrew Olsen. 

Cmdr. Andrew Olsen. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.

“I will work every single day to earn and keep your trust. I am 100% committed to each of you and our battalion,” Olsen told the battalion at the command change ceremony. “Together, we will continue to strive for excellence and keep our skills sharp while we adapt and overcome every challenge that we face together in this dynamic environment.”

Outgoing commander Carey led the base during an unprecedented COVID-19 deployment and oversaw 29,000 man days of construction completed by the Seabees (construction battalion) on base. Projects included capping a landfill for the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan and the building and renovation of elementary schools on islands in the Federated States of Micronesia and in the Philippines. 

“If COVID-19 has taught me anything over the last year, it is that none of us is an island, no matter how isolated we are,” said Carey, speaking during the ceremony. “We are stronger when we serve together.”

Olsen hails from Alexandria, Minnesota, and is a professional licensed engineer in Virginia. He holds the titles of Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist, Joint Professional Military Education Phase I credited officer, and he is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps. While just recently he was serving as public works officer at NBVC, his previous tours included serving as resident assistant officer in charge of construction at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, and range officer with Naval Special Warfare Group 1 Logistics Support Unit in Coronado, California. He has served as officer in charge of Task Force Sierra Detachment 2 and Charlie Company Commander at Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4. 

During his service, awards received include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service

Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy Achievement Medal

(two awards), and the 2014 Admiral Ben Moreell Medal.