Capt. Joseph Murphy relieved Capt. Bryan Carmichael as commanding officer, USS Bataan (LHD 5) during a change of command ceremony held Oct. 7, aboard Bataan.

Carmichael passed the title of “Captain” to Murphy in a traditional exchange in the ship’s hangar bay.

“I am thankful for the amazing opportunity to have commanded the finest ship in the fleet and it has been my great honor to have led this extremely talented group of people,” said Carmichael. “To the crew of Big 5, thank you for being here today. You embody what it truly means to fight, dominate, and win and I am so very proud of all we have done.”

Carmichael, a native of Wenatchee, Wash., became Bataan’s 17th commanding officer since the ship was commissioned Sept. 20, 1997.

He was selected to the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1995 and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Carmichael was commissioned in May 1997. He began his career aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1), USS Horne (CG 30) and was an enlisted instructor at Great Lakes, IL reaching the rank of chief electrician’s mate. His tours of duty include assignments with USS Pensacola (LSD 38), USS Hawes (FFG 53), USS Anzio (CG 68), Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and USS Oak Hill (LSD 51).

Under Carmichael’s command, Bataan finished an extended deployment to the 5th Fleet area of operations and executed an effective year-long CNO planned maintenance availability returning the ship to full mission capabilities.

During the ceremony, Murphy, fleeting-up the executive officer role, described the Sailors he will lead aboard Bataan.

“The challenges we have overcome during the last year are truly extraordinary, due largely in part to you - exceptional warriors - the men and women of Bataan,” said Murphy. “Your hard work has made our Navy stronger and made the world a safer place. I feel privileged for the opportunity to serve as commanding officer of Big 5 and to operate with this incredible team.”

Bataan is the fifth ship of the Navy’s Wasp-class ships. She is the second U.S. Navy warship to bear the name. CVL-29 was an Independence-class small aircraft carrier which was commissioned in November 1943. After serving in both World War II and the Korean conflict, CVL-29 was decommissioned in 1954.

Bataan is finalizing a shipyard maintenance availability period and preparing for an upcoming training cycle which will lead into a scheduled deployment.

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