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NEWS | June 19, 2023

Public Health Activity-Hawaii Welcomes New Commander

Public Health Command-Pacific

Lt. Col. Johnnie R. Robbins relinquished command of Public Health Activity-Hawaii to Lt. Col. Philip Durando during a ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial at the hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 16, 2023. Col. Brad E. Franklin, Public Health Command-Pacific commander, presided over the ceremony.

Franklin expressed his gratitude to Robbins for his exceptional leadership at PHA-H over the last two years, marked by his commitment to service and readiness. His public health contributions to PHA-H significantly impacted the well-being of the military community in Hawaii, including leading the Activity’s response to the water contamination crisis, maintaining readiness, excelling in competition, both in participation and support, and expanding our operational reach.

"Johnnie, your exceptional leadership, foresight, and dedication have set the standard for all who have served under your command," said Franklin. "You did this all with incredibly high energy and humility, and you will be greatly missed."

Robbins, in his remarks, reflected on his time at PHA-H, describing it as one of the most fulfilling experiences of his career. He expressed his deep appreciation for the exceptional dedication and resilience demonstrated by the military and civilian staff at PHA-H, who work tirelessly to promote public health and enhance readiness.

"I had a chance to work with some amazing leaders who believed in mission first, people always," said Robbins. "You all are truly part of something excellent and have inherited a legacy like no other, always remember to carry your legacy with honor, and stand tall and proud.”

Franklin welcomed Durando, his wife, and his children to the Public Health Command- Family and pledged his unwavering support to his success and the future success of the Activity.

“We are confident in your abilities to build upon Lieutenant Colonel Robbins’ legacy,” said Franklin. “Your impressive experience as a distinguished AMEDD officer will serve you well as you face challenges head-on and determined.

Public Health Activity Hawaii is a direct reporting unit of Public Health Command-Pacific. Headquartered in Honolulu, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and Camp Zama, Japan, PHC-P provides comprehensive public health support to protect the force, promote health, and prevent disease and injury via preventive medicine strategies, veterinary services, and food defense operations throughout the Indo-Pacific region.