USS INGRAHAM Everett, WA
– The guided missile frigate USS INGRAHAM (FFG 61) held her change of command ceremony at Naval Station Everett on November 21st.
Cmdr. Joe Frantzen relieved Cmdr. Kristin Stengel as the INGRAHAM’s commanding officer and became the ship’s 16th captain since her commissioning in 1989.
Stengel assumed command of the INGRAHAM in June 2011 in Portland, Oregon where the ship and crew were participating in the Portland Rose Festival. Upon taking command, Cmdr. Stengel immediately began preparing for an arduous six month deployment to the 4th fleet area of responsibility (AOR) to work in conjunction with Joint Interagency Task Force South.
In support of the Combating Transnational Organized Crime mission, the INGRAHAM safely conducted over 200 hours of small boat operations, 700 hours of flight operations, and 200 sorties. Stengel’s leadership led to seven drug smuggling disruptions and the seizure of 2,400 kilograms of cocaine and 17 detainees. The INGRAHAM was also the first United States Navy vessel to participate in Operation MARTILLO in which Stengel and FFG 61 worked closely with the navies and coast guards of Columbia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Panama to improve communication and collaboration.
During this deployment, the ship hosted a news crew from Dan Rather Reports, officers from the Columbian Navy, and a visit from the Honorable Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy.
“The INGRAHAM team is the finest group of men and women I could have ever imagined having the pleasure to command,” Cmdr. Stengel said as she addressed the crew for the last time, “remember as you go forward that you truly are ‘The Last and the Finest,’ and you will continue to succeed. I wish you all the very best. Thank you.”
Captain William Triplett, Deputy Commander, Destroyer Squadron Nine was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s ceremony. In his speech he praised Cmdr. Stengel and spoke at length of her many accomplishments while in command. He also welcomed Cmdr. Frantzen aboard and wished him luck as he begins his journey at the helm of the INGRAHAM.
Joe Frantzen, born in Saint Donatus, Iowa, earned his commission from the United States Naval Academy in 1994. He most recently served as the Executive Officer on the USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and has previously served on USS John Rodgers (DD 983), USS Hue City (CG 66), USS Valley Forge (CG 50), and USS Taylor (FFG 50).
Cmdr. Frantzen brings to the INGRAHAM a wealth of experience and warfare knowledge. “Commander Stengel has done a great job as the INGRAHAM’s Commanding Officer. I look forward to carrying on in the tradition of excellence that she promoted.”