MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Col. Nicholas Vavich relinquished command of the newly activated U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command Intelligence Battalion, to Lt. Col. Vernon Williams during a change of command ceremony at the MARSOC headquarters building here, May 21.
The transition of the MIB from a company to a battalion was the culmination of a three year mission, marshaled by former MARSOC commander Lieutenant General Dennis Hejlik who saw the merit in expanding the size of the MARSOC intelligence assets. The mission of the MIB will be to train, sustain, maintain combat readiness, and provide intelligence support at all operational levels in order to support Marine Special Operations Forces training and operations worldwide with mission-specific intelligence capability.
In summer 2007, Vavich reported to the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune where he served as the G-2 Operations Officer until June 2009.
During his tenure, Vavich was the commanding officer of MARSOC Intelligence Company prior to it becoming the MIB. Vavich’s new assignment is the Inspector and Instructor of Intelligence Support Battalion, Marine Forces Reserve.
“What I have found most rewarding is being with a group of Marines who are grounded in the Marine Air Ground Task Force and bringing that and our Marine ethos and esprit into the special operations forces environment. After three years in MARSOC the highlight for me has been to watch this command grow, evolve, and mature into a very competent and capable addition to Special Operations Command,” stated Vavich.
“A lot of hard work by many people throughout the component, with input and lessons learned from multiple deployments, has gone into vastly improving our intelligence training. MARSOC Intelligence Battalion has taken a number of intelligence Military Occupational Specialties and cross-trained them, producing hybrid intelligence Marines who not only understand operations but who also fully understand how they support the other intelligence disciplines. There are no "one-trick ponies" here,” elaborated Vavich.
Taking the helm at the MIB is Lt. Col. Vernon Williams who comes to MARSOC from an assignment as a Team Lead in U.S. Special Operations Command's Inter-Agency Task Force's Counter Facilitation Team at MacDill Air Force Base.
“I intend to build on the solid foundation Lt. Col. Vavich and the team have established. A lot of great Marines and solid intelligence professionals have put a lot of thought and work into getting us where we are now. We've got a lot of growing to do, and we need to focus on building the battalion right and expanding our thinking along with our size,” explained Williams. “We need to ensure we're ready to adapt to whatever the command, the community, and the nation need us to do in the future.”