9th Comm. Bn., welcomes new commander

23 Jun 2011 | Cpl. Salvador Moreno

9th Communication Battalion welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony here, June 23.

Lt. Col. Julie Nethercot relinquished command to Lt. Col. Ahmed T. Williamson. Nethercot, who was commissioned in May 1993, will attend Naval War College in Washington, D.C.

Nethercot, who recently returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, is credited for overseeing the installation of the communication infrastructure in Helmand province.

“She has done a phenomenal job for the battalion and that’s what I am going to miss,” said Maj. Edward Blackshaw, the battalion executive officer. “She set the example and wants the best for the Marines personally and professionally.”

Nethercot bid farewell to her Marines and praised the battalion for a job well done under her command.

“They are the most important people on the parade deck today,” she said during the ceremony. “These Marines have done a phenomenal job the last two years. These Marines have really made their mark in history. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Williamson recently finished a tour to Iraq with U.S. Special Operations Command where he served as the J6 director of communication for a joint special operations task force.

He praised the battalion for their accomplishments during their deployment and plans to continue its success.

“The command has done a phenomenal job over the past several years in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and really just a fantastic job of supporting the I Marine Expeditionary Force staff,” Williamson said. “I hope to continue to meet those same high marks and standards set by Lt. Col. Nethercot.”

Williams, from Marlboro, Md., and Naval Academy graduate, served as the 9th Comm. Bn., Support Company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and battalion operations officer from August 2004 to April 2005.

“I’m extremely excited to get the opportunity to come back here,” he said. “It’s great to be back at my alma mater. It’s humbling and exciting at the same time to get the opportunity to come back to the battalion and be the commanding officer.”

Williamson plans to continue the success and reputation the battalion developed over the years.

“First of all, I want to challenge the Marines to continue to live the legacy,” he said. “There has been a strong proud legacy set forth in this battalion. I want them to focus on being professionals, taking responsibility, having men and women of character who perform with excellence and continue to foster to the highest esprit de corps.”

Williamson’s academic and professional education includes: Bachelor of Science in computer science, Masters of Science in management, Expeditionary Warfare School, C4 Planners course, United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Masters of Military Studies and Joint-Combined Warfighting School.