Retiring Bauman turns over command to Spratlin

frc command change

Col. Blayne H. Spratlin, center, receives the colors from Col. Mitchell A. Bauman, left, at a change of command ceremony on Thursday at Cherry Point. Spratlin took over command of Fleet Readiness Center East from Bauman, who is retiring after 32 years in the Marine Corps.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 03:35 PM.

The departing commanding officer of Fleet Readiness Center East thanked managers and a legion of professionals for “chasing perfection” at the Cherry Point aircraft repair and maintenance facility.

“You did it. Not me. You did it,” said Col. Mitchell Bauman, 54, who retired after 32 years in the Marine Corps and two years leading the depot at Cherry Point.

Bauman handed over the colors to his successor, Col. Blayne H. Spratlin, at a change of command ceremony in the 70-year-old facility on Thursday.

“The F-35 is going to show up here in your back yard this summer. You can’t get much better than this,” Bauman told a large portion of the 3,300 employees of the facility that sprawls on 150 acres at the Marine Corps air station.

“You have set the bar high,” said Rear Admiral C.J. Jaynes, commander of Fleet Readiness Centers, in congratulating Bauman on his time at FRC East. “You have shown a tremendous will to win. You have made a difference.”

Guest speaker George J. Trautman III, a retired Marine lieutenant general, described Bauman as a “fiercely compassionate leader” with “incredible insight and skill” who is “solid, practical and still a farm boy at heart.”

Trautman said two of the most important contributions Bauman made to Marine Corps aviation were the ongoing transition from the CH-46 Frog to the MV-22 Osprey and from the AV-8B Harrier to the Joint Strike Fighter.



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