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U.S. Marine Corps Col. Karl Arbogast, outgoing commanding officer, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, renders a salute during the national anthem at a Change of Command ceremony, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, July 7, 2023. Arbogast relinquished command of MCAS Beaufort to Col. Mark Bortnem. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nathan Saucier)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Nathan Saucier

Col. Mark Bortnem takes command of MCAS Beaufort

14 Jul 2023 | Staff Sgt. Kayla D. Rivera Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

Col. Mark Bortnem officially assumed duties as the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort from Col. Karl Arbogast today at the headquarters building aboard the installation.

More than 150 people gathered to witness the time-honored Marine Corps tradition of transferring formal authority from one commander to the next. The ceremony was attended by a host of Marine Corps leaders including Brig. Gen. Walker Field, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Depot Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region and Col. Adolfo Garcia Jr., commander, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and members of the local community.

During the ceremony, the incoming and outgoing commanders spoke to their hopes for the future of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the valuable partnerships that keep the mission going.

“I’m humbled for the opportunity to lead and I’m grateful to return to the lowcountry. Although this is not where I was born, in many ways it’s like being home. I’m determined to integrate myself into Team Beaufort and keep this place remaining as the best air station in the Marine Corps, working around the best folks, and with the best Marines,” said Bortnem.

In a message to his replacement, Arbogast expressed his support.

“You are really going enjoy your time here, and I wish you the best. You are obviously the right man for the job.”

Arbogast spent considerable time thanking leaders, members of the community, and staff for their support during his tour of duty mentioning many of them by name.

In reflecting on his term, Arbogast added, “We’ve been here for three years. When we stand up and think about our time in Team Beaufort, we’re going to cherish this, every moment. We will always remain faithful to this awesome place, and all the wonderful people that we have met here.”

Overseeing the change of command was the ninth commander of Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Col. Adolfo Garcia Jr.

“This is a very special day, and this is a very special command,” Garcia Jr. said. “You must have leadership because you have to establish a vision. You have to build a team. You have to fight for limited resources. You have to look towards a future, and what’s happening now. Col. Arbogast, you’ve done that very well.”

To view Col. Bortnem’s official photo and full biography, please click here.

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