Captain Brian Binder takes command of Naval Station Mayport

There is a new captain in charge of Naval Base Mayport, a New Jersey native who returned to duty at a change of command ceremony on Friday.

Captain Brian Binder returns to a base he called home in the 2000s with helicopter squadrons in a career that has also taken him to the White House.

As he prepared to hand over command to Binder, Captain Jason Canfield said that, cliché as it sounds, he and his family felt like they had “won the lottery” when they learned that he was posted to Mayport in July 2019.

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Rear Adm.  Wesley McCall tells a story during Friday's change of command ceremony with outgoing base commander Capt Jason Canfield, left, and incoming commander Capt Brian Binder, right, at Naval Base Mayport .

“Simply put, the people and the community have been amazing and the location is superb. I said from day one that I’m not leaving, or at least not far,” he said. “…A wise man once said, ‘Challenges are opportunities in disguise’, and I can tell you that the opportunities at Mayport have been endless. In the first 90 days of command, my team had the opportunity to face a CAT 5 Hurricane [Dorian] which was aimed at Mayport, but luckily stayed mostly offshore.”

For Binder, who said he was “beyond excited” to return home to Mayport, it was where his Navy career blossomed, he said.

“This is truly home as our first tour of Navy operations began at this incredible naval station, flying helicopters from one of our squadrons and deploying from multiple warships directly from this pool,” Binder said before the ceremony.

Capt. Brian Binder, right, salutes Capt. Jason Canfield as Binder officially assumes the role of base commander at Naval Base Mayport during Friday's change of command ceremony.

The outgoing commander is a Florida native and aviation veteran

Canfield is a 1991 Cocoa High School graduate who attended the University of Central Florida, graduating magna cum laude in 1995 with a degree in electrical engineering. After graduating in 2013 from the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, he completed flight training in Pensacola and San Antonio, and was commissioned as a Naval Flight Officer in early 1997.

Canfield’s flying assignments include two tours with the VQ-1 “World Watchers” and a department head tour with the VQ-2 “Rangers” at Whidbey Island, Washington. He was commanding officer of VQ-1, then served as a catapult and arrest gear officer on the USS Theodore Roosevelt of Norfolk, Va.

Canfield’s shore assignments included tours as an Electronic Reconnaissance Weapons and Tactics Instructor and Director of Navy Concepts at Navy Warfare Development Command in Norfolk. He received two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, as well as six Navy Commendations prior to his appointment in July 2019 at Mayport.

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During his three-year tenure, he provided support to 80 tenant orders and 2,267 ships and submarines, some from overseas ports. There were $1 million in upgrades to port operations maintenance programs and an additional $2.3 million in structural repairs and upgrades to heavy weather mooring devices at Mayport.

“The best comparison to commanding a shore facility is that it’s kind of like being the mayor of a small town,” Canfield said. “…This little town has 11,000 sailors and civilians working on the base, 1,000 of them under my charge and 10% of the United States Navy stationed here. There’s a lot going on.”

Canfield’s new posting doesn’t take him too far from Mayport, as he has taken orders from Naval Air Station Jacksonville as part of the Navy Region Southeast Admiral Staff.

The new commander’s first duty was in Mayport

In 1998, Binder graduated with honors in mechanical engineering from the US Naval Academy, then earned an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Naval Post Graduate School in California. Designated a Naval Aviator in 2000, his early postings included three tours with Helicopter Maritime Strike 72 in Jacksonville and another with Helicopter Maritime Strike 37 in Hawaii.

Deployed on the USS Vicksburg in support of the John F. Kennedy Battle Group during Operation Enduring Freedom, he later joined US Southern Command aboard the USS Stephen W. Groves to support counter-smuggling efforts .

In 2011, Binder was assigned to the White House Office of Drug Policy while serving as a European, African, and United Nations policy analyst and coordinated the interagency development of the United States’ national drug strategies. 2012 to 2014. In 2015, he was assigned to the “Proud Warriors” of HSM-72 and deployed twice with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group as director and commander of two air wings.

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By 2018, Binder was back in Washington in the office of the chief of naval operations, then became the chief of the rotary aircraft branch two years later. He has flown over 3,000 hours in multiple aircraft, earning the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and others.

“Captain Canfield is an outstanding leader who has positioned this great naval station well for continued future success,” Binder said of his predecessor. “He will be the first to tell you that it is the Naval Station Mayport team that deserves all the accolades, and he is right. I am truly humbled and honored to lead this world-class team of women and men. “

Navy Region Southeast Rear Adm. Wesley McCall was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

[email protected], (904) 359-4549

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