Commander Rocky Pulley, left, concluded his two-year assignment at Naval Magazine Indian Island on Friday during a change of command ceremony. He was presented a meritorious service award and gold star by Rear Admiral Scott Gray, USN commander, Navy Region Northwest on behalf of the president of the United States. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Commander Rocky Pulley, left, concluded his two-year assignment at Naval Magazine Indian Island on Friday during a change of command ceremony. He was presented a meritorious service award and gold star by Rear Admiral Scott Gray, USN commander, Navy Region Northwest on behalf of the president of the United States. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Naval Magazine Indian Island gets new leader

NAVAL MAGAZINE INDIAN ISLAND — Cmdr. Rocky Pulley has stepped down as commanding officer of Naval Magazine Indian Island and welcomed incoming commanding officer Cmdr. Donald Emerson.

About 100 invited family and guests gathered to hear comments from guest speaker Rear Admiral Scott Gray, commander, Navy Region Northwest, on Friday.

Additionally, Captain Emile Moured, Jr. CHC, USN gave the invocation and benediction and the Navy Band Northwest provided musical interludes.

“It’s a sad day for us because we are losing Rocky,” said Admiral Gray. “But all sailors are trained from the very start to train your relief. Rocky’s done a superb job in doing that.”

While listing Pulley’s successes, Gray made special mention of his efforts to develop new relationships with the area civilian community.

“We can’t do this without our community partners, the City of Port Townsend, Jefferson County, the Port Gamble S’Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, the Lower Elwa and Suquamish tribes, and countless others,” he said.

”Thank you for your continued support of the base.”

Gray said that under Pulley’s leadership, Naval Magazine Indian Island (NavMag) had safely and efficiently handled more than 123,000 tons of ordinance without any significant problems and no injuries.

“The only near-death experience in Rocky’s time involved Rocky inside his truck with a critter,” Gray quipped.

Apparently, Pulley had a close encounter with a squirrel and since then, the staff has left stuffed squirrels around for him as a tease and reminder. One was at the ceremony tucked under the lectern.

Pulley was recognized by the President of the United States with a meritorious service medal and gold star that was presented by Gray.

Commander Pulley assumed his command of Naval Magazine Indian Island on June 29, 2017. His next assignment will be on the staff of Commander of Navy Region Northwest in Silverdale.

“As we transition, the Navy never sends away one great leader without bringing in another,” Gray said. “I’m happy to report that the Navy chose Don Emerson, an outstanding officer to be the next commander officer here at NavMag Indian Island.”

Emerson is an aviator, with more than 2,400 flight hours in fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.

Commander Don Emerson, USN, assumed command of Naval Magazine Indian Island during a change of command ceremony Friday. Emerson is an aerospace engineer and fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft pilot. He relieves Commander Rocky Pulley, USN, who will move to a position on the staff for Commander, Navy Region Northwest in Silverdale. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Commander Don Emerson, USN, assumed command of Naval Magazine Indian Island during a change of command ceremony Friday. Emerson is an aerospace engineer and fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft pilot. He relieves Commander Rocky Pulley, USN, who will move to a position on the staff for Commander, Navy Region Northwest in Silverdale. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

“Although I have been here for only a short time, it’s obvious that everyone here cares deeply about this island, the people here and the mission,” Emerson said.”I look forward to working with the local community and strengthening the relationships even further.”

After the ceremony, Port Townsend Mayor Deborah Stinson said Indian Island is an important partner for the city.

“This is a critically important position not only for us here, but for the state, nation and world,” Stinson said. “Having this level of official handover of authority is critically important.

“I’m happy to welcome incoming CO Emerson. He knows we have a new city manager coming and I’m looking forward to getting them together to understand the each other’s territory.”

County Commissioner Greg Brotherton said that he plans to continue to develop the county’s relationship with the Navy.

“Commander Pulley was one of the first partners that brought me in and showed me what their mission is here and how they interact with the community and how we can be collaborators,” Brotherton said. “He’s been a great partner with other stakeholders in the community. I look forward to more with Commander Emerson.

“I’m excited with the collaboration with the Navy. There’s a range of issues we need to discuss and being at the table with the Navy to discuss impacts and benefits is powerful.”

Sheriff Joe Nole said through Commander Pulley, sheriff’s deputies have been working drills with the military police.

“If something criminal were to happen here, we would be responding,” Nole said. “We’ve been working together, having them call JeffCom. We got to know Don and are hoping to continue our relationship with him. Indian Island is like its own little city in a way. Anything we can do to help them out in terms of law enforcement or anything they may need, we’re here to help.”

Naval Magazine Indian Island is the U.S. Navy’s only deep-water ammunition port and the Department of Defense’s largest ordinance storage site on the West Coast. It has more than 100 magazines that store conventional munitions ranging from small arms munitions to aircraft ordinance to ship-launched missiles.

An average of 50 vessels stop at the island each year.

The island was purchased in 1939 and Naval Magazine Indian Island and Net Depot was established on May 10, 1941, seven months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

________

Jefferson County Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].

More in News

Rocky Wisniewski of Sequim, a member of the North Olympic Shuttle Spindle Guild, demonstrates how to spin fiber on a walking wheel during Saturday’s Pacific Northwest Fiber Exposition at Vern Burton Community Center in Port Angeles. The two-day event featured a wide variety of demonstrations, exhibits, workshops and a marketplace showcasing all things fiber. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Fiber exposition

Rocky Wisniewski of Sequim, a member of the North Olympic Shuttle Spindle… Continue reading

Hundreds affected by Port Angeles water main break

Showers, non-potable water offered; cases of water given to residents cut off from service

A crew from the Northwest Maritime Center facilities department, Sam Trocano, Jeff Hogue, Shane Meyer and Mike Conklin, work on the removal of the floating dock on the center’s pier in preparation of winter winds and weather. In the background, work continues on the deconstruction of the entrance to the Point Hudson Marina by Orion of Tacoma. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Floating dock removal at Northwest Maritime Center

A crew from the Northwest Maritime Center facilities department, Sam Trocano, Jeff… Continue reading

ID awaited of fingerprints from torso found on beach

Identification of the torso that washed ashore Sept. 16 in… Continue reading

Boat sinks partially in Port Townsend Bay

No pollution reported from trawler

COVID infections plateau on Peninsula

Moderate risk in Clallam; high risk in Jefferson

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
A construction worker welds support pieces for a new pedestrian bridge connecting the historic railroad trestle over the Dungeness River to the Dungeness River Nature Center at Railroad Bridge Park in Sequim on Wednesday. The work is part of a project to restore part of the original Dungeness River floodplain while providing better access to the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Railroad bridge park gets new pedestrian walkway

A construction worker welds support pieces for a new pedestrian bridge connecting… Continue reading

A 73-year-old man was taken to a hospital after a wreck on state Highway 112.
Man rescued from car after Highway 112 wreck

An unidentified 73-year-old man was taken to Olympic Medical Center… Continue reading

Most Read