This military change-of-command ceremony couldn’t occur at the group’s headquarters.
Navy Rear Admiral Mark Fedor took command of Joint Interagency Task Force, or JIATF-South, from Rear Admiral Douglas Fears on July 15, but the ceremony didn’t occur at the top-secret JIATF-South headquarters in downtown Key West.
This ceremony was a bit different from those that occurred in May, when Navy Capt. Beth Regoli became commander of Naval Air Station Key West, and when Capt. Jason Ingram assumed command of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West.
Unlike the Navy and Coast Guard commands, 400 people can’t typically get security clearance to attend a ceremony at the highly classified Joint Interagency Task Force, the military installation that works with the U.S. military and with the authorities of Caribbean, South and Central American countries to fight the flow of illicit drugs into the United States and its partner nations.
JIATF-South hosted its change-of-command ceremony in the Tennessee Williams Theater at the College of the Florida Keys.
Nearly all 500 theater seats were filled with uniformed military officials from other U.S. installations of all branches and other countries, as well as local, state and national dignitaries as well as families and supporters.
“A career cutterman, (Fedor) has nearly 12 years of sea-time with three command tours including the National Security cutter James (WMSL 754) in Charleston, S.C. … His previous operational assignments include being commanding officer of the cutter Mohawk, executive officer on the cutter Legare, commanding officer of the patrol boat Monomoy, operations officer onboard the cutter Durable, and first lieutenant onboard the cutter Dauntless,” states the JIATF-South website. The Mohawk and Dauntless have been home-ported or have spent time in Key West.
Fears had led JIATF-South since June 2020.