CRANE, Ind. -- Col. Robert "Joe" Dixon, Jr., became the 16th commander of Crane Army Ammunition Activity June 20 at a ceremony overlooking Naval Support Activity Crane's Lake Greenwood.
Dixon assumed command from Col. Linwood Clark, who departed for the Pentagon to become the next Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Programs.
A large crowd of Army, Navy and civilians watched as command colors passed from Clark to Brig. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, Commanding General of U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command, to Dixon.
Dixon, an alum of nearby Indiana University, most recently served as the G4 for the Third Infantry Division located at Fort Stewart, Ga., and deployed as the United States Division-North located at Camp Spiecher, Iraq. O'Connell, who was the guest speaker, told the audience how Dixon was the right man to carry on and build upon the standard of excellence CAAA established for itself.
"I am confident that Col. Dixon's vast logistics background will serve Crane well. With his assignments from Chief of Operations of the Joint Logistics Command in Uzbekistan, to Commander of Forward Logistics Element in Afghanistan, to Executive Officer of the 264th Corps Support Battalion (Airborne) in Iraq, and more, he knows what soldiers need and knows when they need it," O'Connell said.
O'Connell also highlighted the strong connection with Indiana that Dixon and his wife share. He said, "The Dixons are no strangers to Indiana. In fact, Joe and Amy grew up in Indiana, and met at Indiana University while they were students there. They both rode in the Little 500 Big Cycling Race at the university and Amy was part of the team that won the inaugural Women's Little 500 Bicycle Race" in 1988.
Reflecting on the opportunity at commanding in Indiana, Dixon later said, "I have always had great assignments over the years in the Army, but this time we feel as if we have won the lottery. Twenty-two years ago as we entered Active Duty, we didn't dream we would be fortunate enough to get to serve back home in Indiana."
O'Connell also told the crowd the day was one "to honor not only this remarkable installation but especially its departing Commander, Colonel Linwood Clark, Jr., for the outstanding leadership that he has provided for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, and to the Department of Army civilians."
Highlighting Clark's successes in command, O'Connell said, "Colonel Clark, the message that I want to leave you with this morning is that you addressed and tackled the challenges of Command and you made a difference. You led this organization to achieve continued excellence in every facet, all the while supporting our Warfighters."
In his speech, Clark highlighted the many accomplishments that occurred during the last three years and praised the workforce. He said, "All of these accomplishments are your accomplishments and I am proud to have been a part of it and to lead you and this great organization. I just hope that your trust in me has lead to a better CAAA. One that is much better than it was when I took command three years ago. I thank you for everything you've done for this command, our Army and the Joint Force."
During his speech in the ceremony, Dixon praised the CAAA workforce for its dedication and its success. He said, "Crane Army Ammunition Activity is well known throughout the Army and the Department of Defense for having a dedicated and professional workforce that safely provides the very best conventional Ammunition support to our nation's Warfighters."
Some of Dixon's previous assignments included serving in Saudi Arabia; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Uzbekistan; Afghanistan; Iraq and MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a Quartermaster Officer and detailed to the Infantry after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. He holds a Master of Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and a Master of Science in Management from Troy State University, Troy, Ala. He has completed the Army Materiel Command's Depot and Arsenal Executive Leadership Program at the University of North Carolina.
A private reception at the base club was held following the ceremony.
CAAA was established in Oct. 1977 and is located on Navy Region Midwest, Naval Support Activity Crane. The Army activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components.