Beaufort News

Navy creates new command at Naval Hospital Beaufort

Naval Hospital Beaufort is the latest Beaufort-area military base to become home to two separate commands.

Last week, the Navy activated Naval Facility Support Beaufort, a new command that will oversee the maintenance and operation of several buildings on the 127-acre compound along Ribaut Road in Port Royal, including barracks and public works buildings, according to base officials.

The hospital, its drive-through pharmacy and the generator building remain under the purview of Naval Hospital Beaufort, base officials said.

Capt. Joan Queen, the hospital's commanding officer, also will oversee the new command, which reports to the commander of Navy Region Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla.

The division "will allow the hospital to more fully concentrate on its primary medical mission of taking care of our patients," Queen said. "It also will allow Naval Support Facility Beaufort to focus on maintaining the compound and access to a more streamlined method for obtaining funding and additional resources for base operations."

The 62-year-old hospital provides general medical, surgical and emergency care for about 45,000 Beaufort-area active-duty and retired service members and their dependents.

Housing separate commands at the same base is not unprecedented in the Lowcountry.

Marine Corps Air Station is divided into the air station, which operates and maintains the buildings and airfield, and Marine Aircraft Group 31, which oversees the F-18 Hornet squadrons.

The same is true on Parris Island, where Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds is commanding general of the Marine Corps Recruit Depo and the Eastern Recruiting Region, a separate command that manages all Marine recruiters east of the Mississippi River and in Puerto Rico.

The recent change at Naval Hospital Beaufort will affect only about 30 sailors and civilian employees, base officials said.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/OnBaseBeaufort.

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