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SASEBO, Japan – Capt. Douglas Graber relieved Capt. Brian Schrum as the commanding officer of USS New Orleans (LPD 18) in a change-of-command ceremony Sept. 23 in the ship’s well deck.
Schrum took command of New Orleans on July 14, 2020. His tour included multiple forward-deployed operational periods characterized by 13 joint and multilateral exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific region, all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My arrival in Japan was the start of an amazing tour on a great ship, with an extraordinary crew, and experiences that I will always cherish,” said Schrum. “Fourteen and a half months after, as my time in command draws to a close, I am incredibly thankful to have led this team through three patrols encompassing a total of nine months underway, through two continuous maintenance availabilities, a selected incremental availability, and all preparations leading to our CNO-select restricted availability.”
Schrum’s next assignment is on the staff of Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific in San Diego.
“It has been a privilege working with Captain Schrum. He has been an outstanding commanding officer and made immense warfighting readiness contributions across the strike group and U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations,” said Rear Adm. Chris Engdahl, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “Captain Graber joins our team with a superb professional reputation honed by a variety of operational leadership assignments. I expect him to lead New Orleans to even higher levels of operational and warfighting readiness.”