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Capt. Tilghman D. Payne speaks after assuming command of Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, during a ceremony at base headquarters Thursday. At right is Rear Adm. Rick Ruehe, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan.

Capt. Tilghman D. Payne speaks after assuming command of Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, during a ceremony at base headquarters Thursday. At right is Rear Adm. Rick Ruehe, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan. (Jim Schulz / S&S)

Capt. Tilghman D. Payne speaks after assuming command of Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, during a ceremony at base headquarters Thursday. At right is Rear Adm. Rick Ruehe, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan.

Capt. Tilghman D. Payne speaks after assuming command of Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, during a ceremony at base headquarters Thursday. At right is Rear Adm. Rick Ruehe, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan. (Jim Schulz / S&S)

Enlisted sailors gather in ranks for the Change of Command ceremony Thursday at Sasebo Naval Base.

Enlisted sailors gather in ranks for the Change of Command ceremony Thursday at Sasebo Naval Base. (Paul J. Phelps / U.S. Navy)

Seaman Jason M. Zuidema, right, and Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald D. Inman stand by to document the arrival of the new commander.

Seaman Jason M. Zuidema, right, and Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald D. Inman stand by to document the arrival of the new commander. (Paul J. Phelps / U.S. Navy)

Japanese media take video and photos as Capt. Tighman D. Payne is piped aboard during the ceremony.

Japanese media take video and photos as Capt. Tighman D. Payne is piped aboard during the ceremony. (Paul J. Phelps / U.S. Navy)

The E. J. King High School Color Guard parade the colors during the ceremony.

The E. J. King High School Color Guard parade the colors during the ceremony. (Paul J. Phelps / U.S. Navy)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Capt. Michael L. James expressed his gratitude Thursday for jobs well done by the many military and civilian officials under his charge as Sasebo Naval Base’s commander, then handed the command to Capt. Tilghman D. Payne.

Payne became the facility’s 28th skipper during the ceremony held in front of the base headquarters. About 300 servicemembers, civilians and distinguished visitors attended.

Rear Adm. Rick Ruehe, Commander, Naval Forces, Japan, expressed appreciation for James’ leadership and accomplishments and welcomed Payne as commander of the southern Japan naval facility.

In addition, James received the International Citizen of Sasebo Award from the city as an expression of appreciation.

James, 50, assumed the post on July 26, 2002. Before arriving in Japan, James was chief of staff for Cruiser Destroyer Group 12, Mayport, Fla.

Payne, 45, comes to Sasebo from National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, where he earned a Master of Science in national security resources.

The new base commander and his wife, Suzanne, have two children.


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