Commanding Officer (November 2010 - November 2012) 
CAPT Jonathan L. Harnden, Jr.
Commanding Officer (November 2010 - November 2012)

Captain Harnden is a Surface Warfare Officer. He is from Virginia Beach, Virginia and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1986 with a B.S. in Naval Architecture.

Captain Harnden attended Surface Warfare Division Officer School in Newport, RI, and served his initial sea tour in the billets of Electrical Division Officer, Auxiliaries Officer and Navigator in USS EL PASO (LKA 117), homeported in Norfolk, VA, from 1986-1990. Following Department Head school in Newport, RI in 1993, he served as Engineer Officer in USS MERRIMACK (AO 179) and USS PENSACOLA (LSD 38) homeported in Norfolk and Little Creek, VA. He served his Executive Officer tour in USS RUSHMORE (LSD 47), homeported in San Diego, CA, from 2000-2001.

Captain Harnden commanded USS PEARL HARBOR (LSD 52), homeported in San Diego, CA, from 2004-2006. During his tour the ship earned the Battle 'E' and CNO Safety Award and deployed to the Fifth Fleet area of operations as part of Expeditionary Strike Group One. The ship's duties included participation in disaster relief efforts in support of the U.S. response to an earthquake in Pakistan.

Captain Harnden served as Executive Officer and Commanded USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6), homeported in San Diego, CA, from 2008-2012. During this tour the ship earned multiple Battle 'E' and other unit awards and completed a highly successful 9 month $140 million drydock phased maintenance availability.

Captain Harnden's shore duty assignments include the U.S. Naval Academy as a Leadership Instructor from 1990-1992, a joint duty assignment as a Project Manager with the Cooperative Threat Reduction program in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) from 1996-1999, assignment as Chief Staff Officer at Regional Support Organization (RSO) San Diego from 2002-2004, and most recently as Current Ships Branch Head for the Director of Surface Warfare at OPNAV N86 from 2006-2008.

Captain Harnden completed Joint Professional Military Education Phases I and II and is designated as a Joint Qualified Officer. He earned a Masters of Engineering Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Loyola College in Maryland in 1993.

 NEWS

Ships of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), USS Stockdale and Royal Thai Navy ship HTMS Surin
USS Essex Returns to Sasebo
USS Essex sailors participate in command physical training
USS Essex (LHD 2) in support of Operation Tomodachi
USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex Chief Petty Officers Stand in Formation for Hull Swap.
USS Essex making a port visit to hong kong
A landing craft air cushion (LCAC) from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Keen Sword 2011 in Japan
USS Essex Returns To Sasebo
Juliet Wharf provides upgraded facilities for the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), JMSDF Ships and other visiting ship
Capt. David Fluker walks through side boys during a change of command ceremony
Marines from the 31st MEU embark the USS Essex (LHD2) for a patrol in the Western Pacific.
Sailors and Marines unload 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit armories and equipment from a Landing Craft Utility 1634 to USS Denver
Marines board a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter while an MH-60S Sea Hawk prepares to land on the flight deck of USS Essex
 Sailors direct a Royal Thai Navy Bell 212 helicopter aboard USS Essex (LHD 2).
USS Essex Hosts Flight Deck Reception in Cambodia
USS Essex Sailors Visit Cambodian Orphanage
Sailors assigned to USS Essex (LHD 2) and Marines from the 31st MEU return to the ship at Sepangar Naval Base
Sailors on the bridge of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) navigate the ship to the coast of Japan.
An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter transports humanitarian assistance supplies.
Sailors move supplies into the hangar bay of USS Essex (LHD 2)
Radiological control technicians inspect cargo for possible low-level radioactive contamination
A member of a Navy radiological assistance team, undergoes a radiological scan after arriving on the flight deck of USS Essex
U.S. Marines and a member of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force unload humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies
Sailors with Amphibious Squadron 11 direct Japanese utility repair vehicles onto Landing Craft Unit 1634.
Sailors attached to USS Essex (LHD 2) move a fishing boat from a harbor on Oshima Island, Japan.
USS Essex (LHD 2) transits in formation as JS Hyuga (DDH 181) transits in the background.
USS Essex (LHD 2) to offload vehicles from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit
USS Essex LHD 2
Essex (LHD 2) departs Fleet Activities Sasebo
31st MEU walk down the pier at White Beach Naval Facility to embark the USS Essex
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force cadets during a tour of USS Essex
Biological and radiological protection gear drill on board USS Essex (LHD 2).
Fleet Master Chief Visits USS Essex
USS Essex (LHD 2)
USS ESSEX
USS Essex (LHD 2) Crew Celebrates Centennial of Naval Aviation
USS Essex (LHD 2) launches a RIM-7P Sea Sparrow missile during a live-fire missile exercise
AV-8B Harrier with Marine Attack Squadron 214 lands on the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2)
USS Essex (LHD 2) Sailors Complete Ordnance Onload Prior to Deployment
High mobility multi-purpose vehicles with the 31st MEU drive onto the USS Essex (LHD 2) at White Beach Naval Facility Okinawa
USS Essex (LHD 2) Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Justin Mitchell, right, fires the shot line to  USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9)
Marines assigned to the 31st MEU prepare to disembark the USS Essex
Sailors take the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony held aboard USS Essex
Marine Corps 236th Birthday Celebration
USS Essex (LHD 2)
USS Essex (LHD 2)
Sailors man the forward lookout watch on the signal bridge of USS Essex (LHD 2) as the ship arrives in Manila for a port visit.
USS Essex LHD 2
USS Essex (lhd2)
Chief of Navy’s Chaplain Corps Visits USS Essex
USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex (lhd2)
LCAC enters well deck of USS Essex.
Yeoman 2nd Class Kyle Parker takes his first class petty officer advancement examination.
Physical Training on board USS Essex (lhd2)
USS Essex (lhd2)
Capt. David Fluker answers questions for the Japanese media.
USS Essex (lhd2)
A Sailor assigned to USS Essex (LHD 2) reunites with his family after the ship arrived in San Diego.

 Served with...

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