Marine Corps Air Station Miramar was under new command Friday.
Col. Jason Woodworth passed the command to Col. Charles Dockery in a special ceremony that included aircraft, special guests and local officials as well as a marching band.
Dockery previously served as Chief of Staff for the 1st Marine Air Wing in Okinawa, Japan.
Woodworth assumed command of MCAS Miramar in August of 2015. He said it has been an honor.
“Nobody wants to give up command and this today is sad but it’s also the right thing. It’s time for me to move on. Get some fresh ideas in here and have someone else… take over,” Woodworth said.
Under Woodworth, MCAS Miramar was awarded the 2018 Commander-in-Chief's Award for Installation Excellence.
The base applied for one of the largest defense-related microgrids in the world, according to U.S. Rep. Scott Peters. He issued a statement thanking Woodworth for his service.
"He understood that smart energy technology and conservation makes for better warfighters," Peters said in a written statement, adding that the microgrid has significantly increased the base's resiliency.
Dockery first checked in to Miramar on Sept. 23, 1997 and said two of his children were born at Balboa Naval Hospital so San Diego is home to his family.
He is looking forward to working with the community on future projects.
“The more people know about Miramar and the more people see their Marines out and about in the community it just makes us stronger,” Dockery said.
The base is undergoing nine military construction projects to prepare for the arrival of F-35s.
In March, the base began a hangar and apron expansion project.
Construction is planned through 2031 to allow the base to support the USMC transition to the F-35.
The aircraft will replace the F/A-18 Hornet at MCAS Miramar.
NBC 7 was on USS George Washington when the F-35 C made its first tailhook landing.
It combines next-generation fighter characteristics of radar-evading stealth along with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history, according to an MCAS Miramar news release.
A report released by the Pentagon in 2017 showed the F-35 Strike Fighter had a number of issues ranging from delays to cost over-runs and a temporary grounding.