Special to TH
CRANE — Col. Robert “Joe” Dixon, Jr., became the 16th commander of Crane Army Ammunition Activity June 20 at a ceremony overlooking Naval Support Activity Crane¹s Lake Greenwood.
Dixon assumed command from Col. Linwood Clark, who departed for the Pentagon to become the next Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Programs.
A crowd of Army, Navy and civilians watched as command colors passed from Clark to Brig. Gen. Kevin O¹Connell, Commanding General of U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command, to Dixon. Dixon, alum of nearby Indiana University, most recently served as the G4 for the Third Infantry Division located at Fort Stewart, Ga., and deployed as the United States Division-North located at Camp Spiecher, Iraq.
O’Connell, who was the guest speaker, told the audience how Dixon was the right man to carry on and build upon the standard of excellence CAAA established for itself.
“I am confident that Col. Dixon’s vast logistics background will serve Crane well. With his assignments from Chief of Operations of the Joint Logistics Command in Uzbekistan, to Commander of Forward Logistics Element in Afghanistan, to Executive Officer of the 264th Corps Support Battalion (Airborne) in Iraq, and more, he knows what soldiers need and knows when they need it,” O’Connell said.
O’Connell also highlighted the strong connection with Indiana that Dixon and his wife share. He said, “The Dixons are no strangers to Indiana. In fact, Joe and Amy grew up in Indiana, and met at Indiana University while they were students there.”
Reflecting on the opportunity at commanding in Indiana, Dixon later said, “I have always had great assignments over the years in the Army, but this time we feel as if we have won the lottery. Twenty-two years ago as we entered active duty, we didn¹t dream we would be fortunate enough to get to serve back home in Indiana.”
O’Connell also told the crowd the day was one “to honor not only this remarkable installation but especially its departing Commander, Colonel Linwood Clark, Jr., for the outstanding leadership that he has provided for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, and to the Department of Army civilians.”
Clark’s successes in command, O’Connell said, “Colonel Clark, the message that I want to leave you with this morning is that you addressed and tackled the challenges of Command and you made a difference. You led this organization to achieve continued excellence in every facet, all the while supporting our warfighters.”
In his speech, Clark highlighted the many accomplishments that occurred during the last three years and praised the work force. He said, “All of these accomplishments are your accomplishments and I am proud to have been a part of it and to lead you and this great organization. I just hope that your trust in me has led to a better CAAA. One that is much better than it was when I took command three years ago. I thank you for everything you¹ve done for this command, our Army and the Joint Force.”