A new captain took the helm Thursday at Naval Air Station Key West. Capt. Beth Regoli relieved Capt. Mark Sohaney as commander of the naval air station that includes hundreds of acres and thousands of personnel from Boca Chica to Key West.
Regoli is the second woman to command NASKW, following Capt. Lynn Hutton’s leadership 1995 to 1997. She is a native of San Jose, California, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, a career naval aviator and a former naval assistant to Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. She has also been an instructor at the Naval Academy and director of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.
“She has high standards and a rare blend of humility and an intense will to win,” Sohaney said at Thursday’s ceremony, which took place in a fighter jet hangar adorned at each end with giant American flags.
Regoli’s parents, brother, niece, nephew and several friends were in the audience Thursday morning, as her brother pinned the official command medal on her uniform.
In his remarks, Sohaney thanked the entire staff and all sailors at NAS Key West. “It has truly been my honor to be your commanding officer and to serve with you,” he said. “People first, mission always. This tour has been the pinnacle of my career and Key West remains the world’s finest naval air station.
As he prepares to depart for his next assignment in Hawaii, Sohaney added, “All I have left to say to you all is, mahalo.” (Hawaiian for thank you.)
Regoli thanked everyone for coming, wished the naval personnel a good, long weekend and said she’s eager to get to work on Monday.