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Eckardt takes command of NOPF
By Lt. Melissa Seitz
Cmdr. Marc Eckardt relieved Cmdr. David Skipworth as Commanding Officer of Naval Ocean Processing Facility Whidbey Island in a ceremony at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island base chapel on June 10.
The guest speaker was Captain Paul K. Heim, Commander, Undersea Surveillance.
“One of the finest moments a commanding officer enjoys is recognizing and advancing hard working sailors,” said Skipworth prior to turning the command over to Eckardt. He presented the Commander James Award, an annual award that is presented to the Officer or Chief Petty Officer who has made a significant contribution to the command and to Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems, to Sonar Technician Master Chief Stephen Reisnour. Cmdr. Skipworth also advanced Sonar Technician Petty Officer Third Class Stuart Fornsel to Petty Officer Second Class as part of the Command Advancement Program.
Skipworth took command of NOPF Whidbey Island in October 2008. During his tenure, he led a team of over 360 U.S. and Canadian Forces sailors as well as civilians in earning the Vice Admiral Edward C. Waller Award, which is awarded to the command which best represents excellence in the undersea surveillance mission. The team also won the Commander Seventh Fleet Sea Dragon Award for Anti-Submarine Warfare excellence, among other achievements.
Eckardt graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1992 and after attending Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island, reported to the USS Hue City in Mayport, Fla. where he qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer. In 1996, Eckardt transferred into the Meteorology and Oceanography community and was stationed at the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Monterey, Calif. He then transferred to the Naval Postgraduate School where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology. Upon graduation in January 2002, Eckardt was assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln as the METOC Officer and Tactical Action Officer.
Eckardt was then stationed at Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Center, San Diego, Calif. as the Staff Liaison Officer and Fleet Liaison Department Head and at Naval Personnel Command as the Assistant Oceanography Community Detailer, Placement Officer and Community Manager. Eckardt assumed responsibilities as NOPF Whidbey Island Executive officer in September 2008.