Capt. Kenneth Strong relieved Capt. Glenn Jamison as commanding officer of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) (GW) during a change of command ceremony, Sept. 5.
A time-honored tradition, the ceremony was held at the Joint Forces Staff College onboard Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, with Capt. Richard McCormack, chief of staff for Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, as the presiding officer.
"During the past several years I have commanded USS George Washington, I’ve had the privilege and pleasure to see this crew work side-by-side with each other, and in unison with Newport News Shipbuilding and the other supporting organizations, all with the common goal of redelivering GW back to the fleet, ready for the second half of her life-cycle," said Jamison. "It has been an honor to be part of this great team."
Jamison looked back on his time aboard George Washington and how the crew motivated him to accomplish the mission at hand.
"Since coming into refueling complex overhaul, or RCOH, I’ve been so impressed by the work ethic of every Sailor and officer under my command," said Jamison. "The challenges of working in the shipyard are unparalleled, and I’m inspired every day by how our team tackles them head on and delivers results."
Jamison’s successes include advancing 1,300 George Washington Sailors and chiefs to the next pay grade, achieving the FY17 and FY18 Retention Excellence Award, and successfully completing the first half of George Washington’s RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia.
Jamison’s leadership and professionalism while in command afforded him the recognition by award of the Legion of Merit.
“Being the commanding officer of a nuclear-powered warship carries with it the responsibility and accountability like no other job in the Navy,” said McCormack. “Thank you for your sage leadership of the fine men and women assigned to USS George Washington. There is no one more deserving of the Legion of Merit than this man here.”
Jamison concluded his remarks by thanking his family and the George Washington crew.
"It’s been an honor to serve as the commanding officer of USS George Washington," said Jamison. "I know that I leave the crew in the capable hands of Capt. Strong."
Strong takes command as the ship enters the second half of RCOH, with the next major milestone of flooding the dry dock on the horizon.
"I look forward to taking the helm of the 'Spirit of Freedom' and getting us to the finish line of RCOH,” said Strong. “Together we will successfully redeliver the most advanced capital warship to the fleet."
Strong received his commission in 1992 through Aviation Officer Candidate School after graduating from Johns Hopkins University. Strong’s most recent assignment was as commanding officer for the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) from February 2018 to April 2019. He was also previously the executive officer of George Washington from October 2014 to October 2016.