VICENZA, Italy -- The 509th Signal Battalion welcomed a new commander in a ceremony on Caserma Del Din here June 25.

Lt. Col Brent O. Skinner, who recently served as the military deputy for the Commercial Solutions for Classified Project Management Office, accepted command of the battalion from the commander of the 2nd Signal Brigade Col. Edward F. Buck.

Outgoing commander Lt. Col. Schawn L. Branch served as the unit's commander for the past two years, and will transfer to the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia. In his parting remarks, Branch praised the service and commitment of the Soldiers, civilians and local national employees, and said that commanding the 509th has been the highlight of his 22 years of service.

"I am truly humbled, yet proud to have served with the Soldiers and civilians standing before you this morning," Branch said. "They have answered the call every single time, have never failed, and very often do so much more than you ask of them."

"It is no surprise that the 509th's focus areas resulted in winning the Chief of Staff of the Army's Supply Excellence award for FY15," Buck said, addressing the audience and the assembled battalion formation that included a platoon of Department of the Army Civilians. "An amazing accomplishment it its own right, it's even more impressive when you consider it was accomplished by a team of professionals operating under a crushing OPTEMPO. This could only have been done under the great leadership that Schawn brought to the 509th."

Buck also noted that under Branch's command, there were no drug or alcohol related incidents within the 509th. "More amazingly," said Buck, "this brings the unit to 48 months without incident."

Skinner, born in Staten Island, New York, received his commission in the signal corps in 1997 and has since served in a wide range of positions of increasing responsibility prior to assuming command of the battalion.

"I'm truly honored to be a part of the team and look forward to getting to know you as we continue to do great things for team signal, not only here in Italy, but across the enterprise," said Skinner. "The many accomplishments you have achieved are indicative of your selfless service and dedication to the unit."