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Tugboat provides patriotic color at 597th Transportation Group ceremony.

A Taiwan native who was the distinguished graduate of his Reserve Officer Training Corps class is the new commander of Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point.

Col. James Chen assumed command of MTMC's largest installation July 21. Located on the Cape Fear River, in Southport, N.C., the facility is a key munitions shipping location for the Department of Defense.

As symbols of the change of command, Chen and outgoing commander Col. Ron Heiter fired two symbolic cannon shots from the ceremony site, the Fort Johnson garrison riverfront lawn. OffShore in the Cape Fear River, a Sunny Point fireboat sprayed red, white and blue water skyward.

"I feel privileged and proud to be part of such a great team and a great community," said Chen. "My tour as commander of Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point signifies that I have come full circle in my career.

"This really does feel like homecoming?' Most recently Chen served as chief of staff of the 19th Theater Support Command, Taegu, Korea.

Chen was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Central Missouri State University where he was named distinguished military graduate. His previous overseas assignments include Germany and Japan.

"I'm extremely proud to be a part of such an outstanding organization," said Heiter, installation commander for the past two years.

"I want to use this as my opportunity to give a heartfelt thanks to those who have worked so hard to make a difference in the terminal. To the many friends we have made here, please know that you have made this stay better than we could have imagined."

In his new assignment, Heiter will go to the Joint Deployment Training Center, Fort Eustis, Va.

Heiter's two-year tour at the terminal drew praise from Maj. Gen. Ann Dunwoody, MTMC Commanding General.

"He has had two years of tough, realistic training, but the bottom line is that no matter how we look back on his two years as commander, we will not forget his dedicated leadership," said Dunwoody. "Ron has led and commanded a remarkable unit. Right after he took command, he was put to the test."
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Title Annotation:New commanders at MTMC's 599th, 597th groups ...
Author:Jones, Shirl
Date:Sep 22, 2003
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