SAN DIEGO – Cmdr. Luis Alva relieved Cmdr. Kristin L. Stengel as commanding officer of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) during a change of command ceremony, May 31.
Stengel will retire after leaving Vandegrift and return home to Everett, Wash. She said her time on Vandegrift will not soon be forgotten.
"While it is certainly bittersweet for me to leave Vandegrift, I am so honored to have served with one of the finest crews in the Navy," said Stengel. "Vandegrift has come a long way; looking back on everything the ship has accomplished over the past few months that I have been captain, I could not be prouder of this crew."
Alva becomes Vandegrift’s twentieth commanding officer. A native of Chicago, Alva began his military career in July 1991 after high school. Alva’s previous command was USS Reuben James (FFG 57), where he served as executive officer. He said he is ready to lead Vandegrift into the next phase.
"It is an incredible honor to assume command of this great warship," said Alva. "I am excited and eagerly looking forward to serving with this outstanding crew through the remainder of the training phase and into her next deployment."
Vandegrift recently returned from her CARAT 2012 deployment to the South Pacific in November 2012. She is operating out of her homeport of San Diego.
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/SurfaceWarriors; and on Twitter, @surfacewarriors