PMRF command to change Thursday

LIHUE — Capt. Bruce W. Hay will relieve Capt. Nicholas Mongillo as commanding officer of Pacific Missile Range Facility.  

The traditional change of command ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Barking Sands base operations hangar, according to a news release. A keynote address is scheduled to be given by retired Capt. David Rodgers, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Hay will become the 25th Naval officer to hold the PMRF post.

He arrives after an assignment as the future aircraft carrier requirements officer on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff in Washington, D.C.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Susie.      

“Susie and I are continually amazed at the beauty of the island and especially of the people who live here,” Hay said in the release. “We really look forward to the next three years advancing the fantastic work being done at PMRF and becoming integral members of the PMRF and Kauai ohanas.”

An EA-6B Naval flight officer, Hay has accrued more than 2,600 flight hours and 802 carrier arrested landings, as well as made the first EA-6B Prowler night-vision device landing in Bagram, Afghanistan, according to the release. Hay was also part of the historic 10-month deployment with the USS Abraham Lincoln during Operation Iraqi Freedom and served as the Operations Officer for the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), where he was awarded a peer-nominated Navy and Marine Corps Leadership Award.

Mongillo and his wife Jackie leave PMRF after three years. The Connecticut native is retiring after more than 27 years of distinguished Navy service that saw him take part in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. During Desert Storm, Mongillo downed an Iraqi MiG-21 on the first of his 25 combat missions, earning the Silver Star Medal.

“My family’s assignment to PMRF was the absolute highlight of my 27-year Navy career,” Mongillo said in the release. “Of the nine different states that we have lived in, none have offered the warmth, friendship, and ohana that Kauai offers.”

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