SAN DIEGO - USS New Orleans (LPD 18) held a change of command onboard Naval Base San Diego, April 12.
Capt. Kenneth A. Strong turned over command of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship to Capt. P. Scott Miller during a ceremony held aboard the ship’s flight deck.
The ceremony marked the end of Strong’s highly successful 14-month tour which included an extensive maintenance and certification cycle. The ship and crew finished a dry dock ship’s restricted availability, contractor and type commander sea trials, basic phase, as well as supply, seamanship, communications, aviation and search-and-rescue certifications. Strong used the ceremony to share his thoughts on the crew.
“They rebuilt the ship. They rebuilt everything about it – the material, the programs, the processes,” said Strong. “They’ve been languishing in a never-ending maintenance availability and by sheer will, determination and perseverance they drove through all of that.”
Strong will report to USS George Washington (CVN 73) in Newport News, Virginia to serve as commanding officer. He previously served as the ship’s executive officer.
Miller thanked Strong for setting him up for success. “Ken, thanks for all you’ve done for the ship and the crew. You’ve definitely carried the torch all the way through,” he said.
New Orleans is the second ship in the Navy's San Antonio class. This class provides the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable, and built to operate in the 21st century, with the MV-22 Osprey, the upgraded amphibious assault vehicle, and future means by which Marines will be delivered ashore.
New Orleans was commissioned in March 2007 and is the fourth in the U.S. Navy’s fleet to bear the name in honor of Louisiana’s crescent city.