Navy Capt. Frank Mays took command of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) in an official installation ceremony held Mar. 20. Mays relieves the outgoing commander, Navy Capt. Anthony T. Calandra.
“It’s an honor to command the nation’s premier Joint Base and the installation of choice in the National Capital Region,” Mays said during the Change of Command ceremony held at the JBAB Bolling Club.
Mays said he intends to create a climate of professional growth and development while combining the talents of a diverse pool of military and civilian personnel.
“I plan to foster an inclusive environment of excellence that will lay the foundation for both your personal and professional success. We all come from many backgrounds, but we are one team with one mission and I’m truly humbled by the opportunity to be your skipper,” Mays told ceremony attendees.
Mays brings more than 22 years of military experience serving in both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy and emphasized the importance of keeping their respective heritages and legacies intact as commander of an installation that houses both branches.
“I’ve got Navy and Air Force coursing through my blood and I intend to make sure both entities are shepherded,” he said.
He also pointed to the historical make up of JBAB. “My understanding is that this is the birthplace of the U.S. Air Force and I don’t want to dilute that in any fashion. There is also plenty of Navy history on this base,” he said.
Mays served as an enlisted Airman before earning his flight wings with the U.S. Navy in September 1992. He flew the EA-6B Prowler with VAQ-134 and was the training officer for VAQ-131. He deployed to the Arabian Gulf with the USS Constellation.
He was the deputy lead planner for the U.S. European Command in Stuggart, Germany and also served as the Naval Aviation Congressional liaison in Washington, D.C.
Calandra welcomed his successor and expressed great confidence in him.
“There is no doubt in my mind that you are going to take this installation to new heights of excellence. You have a great team here and you, my friend, are a great leader. I wish you all the best and hope you have at least as much fun here as I have,” he said.
Calandra, a native of Cresson, Pa., earned his flight wings in May 1998 and held numerous positions before coming to JBAB. He served with the Silver Foxes of VA-155 and the main battery of VA-196. He transitioned to the EA-6B Prowler and later deployed with the Scorpions of VAQ-132, the Yellow Jackets of VAQ 138 and the Lancers of VAQ-131. He commanded the Cougars of VAQ-139 and served as the operations officer for the USS George Washington.
Joint Base Vice Commander Air Force Col. Mike Saunders called the ceremony a “bitter sweet day” with the moving on of a great leader in Calandra and the incoming of another in Mays.
“I look forward to Capt. Mays’ leadership and supporting him as his new deputy,” Saunders said.