WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Naval Medical Research Unit-Dayton held a change-of-command ceremony July 9 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where Capt. Nimfa Teneza-Mora turned command over to Capt. Walter Dalitsch.
“A change in leadership is a momentous occasion,” said Rear Adm. Tim Weber, commander of Naval Medical Forces Pacific and Medical Service Corps director, who was the ceremony’s guest speaker.
Dalitsch arrives from U.S. Naval Hospital Sigonella, Sicily, where he served as executive officer and the installation’s public health emergency officer in support of 37 tenant commands during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I look forward to working with our Air Force hosts and partners,” Dalitsch said.
Weber presented Teneza-Mora with the Legion of Merit award for her outstanding service. She had been the commanding officer since November 2019.
Under Teneza-Mora’s leadership, NAMRU-Dayton became an established premier laboratory and partner of choice for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing and Department of Defense in the research and development of innovative solutions, knowledge products, mitigation strategies and countermeasures that addressed multiple aeromedical factors contributing to military-aviation mishaps, according to the award citation.
She also facilitated critical studies to enhance understanding of health and performance effects in the present operational environment, informing safety guidelines and health-risk assessment for the Navy.
“(She) set a precedence of excellence for the Naval Medical Research and Development enterprise, for Navy Medicine and for the Navy at large,” said Capt. William Deniston, Naval Medical Research Center commander and the ceremony’s presiding officer.
Guided by the primary principle that people are the command’s best asset, Teneza-Mora sought to provide regular and consistent communication to ensure each member of the team is valued and treated with respect.
“When you hear impressive achievements, this is attributable to the people of NAMRU-Dayton,” Teneza-Mora said.
Reflecting on her time at the helm, she commended NAMRU-Dayton for overcoming the restrictions, limitations and isolation brought on by the “darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.” She also praised the command for balancing the execution of its research mission while ensuring staff safety.
“It was an honor and a privilege to lead an exceptional command whose active-duty members and employees are dedicated and passionate about their work and research mission,” Teneza-Mora said.
Next up for Teneza-Mora is an assignment to lead the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center’s Navy Bloodborne Infection Management Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
NAMRU-Dayton is one of eight laboratories within the Naval Medical Research and Development enterprise. As a subordinate command to Naval Medical Research Center, it is home of the Environmental Health Effects Laboratory and Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory.
The Dayton agency is a tenant command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.