SASEBO, Japan – With more than 300 guests, Sailors, friends and family in attendance, Cmdr. Severn Stevens relieved Cmdr. Gary Harrington as commanding officer of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) during a change of command ceremony held May 10 in Sasebo, Japan.
Harrington, who assumed command of Germantown on October 27, 2014, led the crew through a number of critical warfare area certifications and inspections while also earning numerous unit awards.
Under Harrington’s leadership, Germantown earned the Battle Effectiveness "E" with a clean sweep of all five command excellence awards.
Germantown was also awarded the SECNAV Energy Conservation award, Unit Tactics award, Intelligence Excellence award, VADM Bulkeley Afloat Safety Culture award, CNO Safety award, Pacific Fleet Health and Wellness Unit "Green H" award, Navy Surgeon General's Health Promotion and Wellness "Blue H" award, CNO Safety Award, and the Retention Excellence "Golden Anchor" award during Harrington’s tenure.
"I am extremely proud of the Germantown crew and their demonstrated professionalism," said Harrington.
"We successfully accomplished a lot together from exercises and operations to every certification event in the book. You are the most talented crew I have served with in my 25 years of Naval Service, and I am honored to have shared these accomplishments with you as your commanding officer," said Harrington.
According to Harrington, successfully completing multiple deployments, an entire certification cycle and preparing the ship for her mid cycle inspection were important periods for the ship.
"This reinforced the importance of procedural compliance, knowing our ship, and how to operate it,” said Harrington. “Every challenge improved our readiness to support deployed operations forward in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility."
"Cmdr. Stevens is an exceptional leader. He truly embodied my ethos that Teamwork Makes the Dream Work and I am very proud that you are following in my footsteps," said Harrington.
With those words, Harrington saluted his relief, former executive officer, Stevens, and transferred the authority, responsibility and accountability of his command.
Stevens has served as Germantown's executive officer since October 2014 and stated he is ready for the challenges ahead with the confidence built through the teamwork and trust forged during he and Harrington’s time leading the crew.
"We are ready to support the operational readiness of the amphibious force in 7th Fleet and I remain confident in the crew’s ability to meet the challenges and demands of this forward deployed environment,” said Stevens.
Germantown is forward-deployed to Amphibious Squadron 11 and is currently undergoing a Continuous Maintenance Availability in Sasebo, Japan while also preparing for her Mid Cycle Inspection in June.