Rear Adm. William McQuilkin speaks at the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea change of command ceremony prior to being relieved by Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns)

SEOUL, Republic of Korea - Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti relieved Rear Adm. William McQuilkin as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, Sept. 10, during a change of command ceremony held at U.S. Army Garrison, Yongsan.

The ceremony was hosted by Gen. James Thurman, the commander of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea. Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet; Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet; and various leaders and dignitaries from the Republic of Korea were also present for the ceremony.

During his remarks, McQuilkin spoke about the close partnership and alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States navies. He also thanked the Korean people for their hospitality and their support for U.S. Sailors stationed on the Korean peninsula.

"It's been an honor and privilege to serve and live side-by-side with the people of the Republic of Korea as we continue the 60-year plus alliance between our two nations," said McQuilkin. "The relationships we have made with the Korean people have enriched my life both personally and professionally."

After the official announcement of orders and assumption of command, Franchetti thanked both distinguished guests and members of her staff for the warm welcome to her new post.

"I am honored to be the new Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Korea," Franchetti said. "Our mission here is vitally important to both the United States and the Republic of Korea and I look forward to serving as part of this enduing alliance."

McQuilkin, who served as the commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Korea since September 2011, is slated to be the Director of the U.S. Navy's Strategy and Policy Division, N51, at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, in Washington D.C. Franchetti was the Navy Military Assistant for the Secretary of the Navy in Washington D.C. before assuming the duties as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea.

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander for the United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.