Capt. Thomas A. Korsmo became the 35th commanding officer of Naval Air Station Kingsville today, relieving Capt. Erik A. Spitzer who had held the position for more than four years.

Earlier in the day, Commander, Navy Region Southeast Rear Adm. Gary Mayes joined the incoming and outgoing commanders by video teleconference during which he awarded Capt. Spitzer the Legion of Merit medal for his exemplary performance in command.

The admiral praised Spitzer for being the driving force behind more than $150 million in infrastructure improvements, including the renovation of two major aircraft hangars and the ground training building, the construction of three new ammunition bunkers, and the installation of a new airfield lighting system.

In his farewell remarks, Spitzer lauded his staff and the various tenant commands on the base for their efforts while he was at the helm.

“I was truly blessed to have such an outstanding team. I could not have accomplished anything without their support and hard work,” Spitzer said.

Due to Department of Defense COVID-19 restrictions, attendance at the ceremony was limited to family members and a few military guests. As a result, both Kleberg County and the City of Kingsville each honored Spitzer at their commissioner’s meetings June 22.  

County Judge Rudy Madrid, himself a retired naval officer, presented a plaque recognizing Spitzer’s service to the base and to the county. Later that evening, Mayor Sam Fugate presented Spitzer with the key to the city in appreciation of his concerted efforts to reinforce NAS Kingsville’s position as a trusted friend and committed partner to the community.

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