Leadership Changes Hands at Naval Air Facility

Captain Brent A. Alfonzo salutes Captain William C. Doster, his predecessor, at the NAF ceremony. Photo by Stella Jimenez.

EL CENTRO – Captain Brent A. Alfonzo assumed command of the U.S. Naval Air Facility El Centro (NAF) from Captain William C. Doster during a change of command and retirement ceremony held Friday morning at the NAF facility.

The Naval Air Change of Command Ceremony is not prescribed specifically by U.S. Navy regulations, but rather, is a still-honored product of the rich heritage of Naval tradition. It is designed to strengthen respect for authority, an integral aspect of any military.

Captain Brent A. Alfonzo is the 35th commanding officer for the Naval Air Facility, El Centro.

During the ceremony, Captain Doster, who had commanded NAF El Centro since August 2014, took the opportunity to thank his sailors for their efforts over the past three years as well as family and friends for their support throughout his 25-year career.

“I am very proud to have served as your commanding officer. This is the end and a beginning,” said Capt. Doster. “As I reflected in preparing today’s remarks, I couldn’t help but think how blessed I am that I have served in the world’s finest Navy. I have been blessed with being part of many great teams, each one of them better than the last, but most importantly, I have been very blessed to have been born in the United States of America.”

Capt. Doster retires wearing dual warfare qualifications as both a submariner and Naval aviator. During his 25-year tenure, Dotson completed over 2,500 flight hours and 450 arrested landings on ten aircraft carries. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Individual Air Medal, Strike Flight Medal, multiple Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, multiple Navy Achievement Medals, and various unit awards.

As Doster closed out his speech, he also had a few words of encouragement for Capt. Alfonzo, including being comforted knowing he was retiring leaving the NAF in the best of hands.

“I am confident that Capt. Alfonzo will take over this operation and I know he will do an outstanding job leading his command,” said Doster.

Doster, who is now retiring, said plans to devote himself to his children, Haley and Jake, and wife, Tammy Michelle, who he had promised to take on various trips to exotic places around the world.

Capt. Alfonzo arrives as a plankowner of the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center at NAS Fallon, Nevada, where he assisted in developing the Warfare Tactics Instructors program for the Surface Warfare Community. Prior to that station, Alfonzo was assigned to Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command.

Originally from Poway, California, Alfonzo brings 24 years of Navy experience with him, during which he had accumulated over 4,300 flight hours, including over 4,100 hours in the H-60F/H/S helicopter. He is authorized to wear the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy Achievement Medals, and various individual, unit and campaign awards.

Capt. Alfonzo said he was looking forward to building upon the great foundation that Doster leaves behind and said would provide opportunities of success to al of the NAF El Centro members.

“I am humbled and honored to be standing here today to be a part of the Naval Air Facility El Centro,” said Capt. Alfonzo. “I look forward to ensuring that every member of the El Centro team is provided with the opportunity of personal and professional success and guarantee the mission of this place is accomplished safely and professionally.”