Zimmerman to turn over command to Pappas today

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 04:32 PM.

Since his first Cherry Point tour in 1991, Zimmerman said the basic infrastructure of the base hasn’t changed a lot.

"What’s really changed is what’s inside the buildings, the computers, the cell phones and the technology," Zimmerman said.

Over the last three years, social media such as Facebook and Twitter have meant that the information flows a lot faster, he said.

"You have to be a lot more careful about the messaging that you’re putting out and informing people and trying to stay ahead of it. You don’t have the 24-hour news cycle anymore. It’s maybe 24 seconds now," Zimmerman said.

While Zimmerman has been in command, the base has replaced its headquarters building following a 2007 fire that destroyed the old one. The temporary office arrangement before the new headquarters opened meant that the base commander and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing commander were in separate buildings, complicating communications.

"It’s much easier now," Zimmerman said. "I can walk across the hall and talk to the general and talk with him on issues and making sure we are supporting him correctly."

Zimmerman said keeping the two largest staffs on the base together means better interaction. The leaders can meet face-to-face rather than on the phone or through email.

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