Sasebo, Japan – The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) held a change of command ceremony in Sasebo, Japan, May 14.
Cmdr. Daniel Duhan relieved Cmdr. Douglas Patterson as commanding officer.
"I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have served as the commanding officer of this outstanding crew,” said Patterson. "They are truly a unique and special group of sailors.”
Patterson assumed command on January 2014 after serving as the executive officer onboard the USS Tortuga (LSD 46) and continuing his tour on the Ashland after the hull swap on August 2013. He has led the crew through a number of critical warfare area certifications and inspections as well as numerous multinational exercises throughout 7th Fleet.
"During the three years I have been with the Tortuga/Ashland crew, the crew has met and exceeded every standard and tasking before them," said Patterson. "I am grateful for every day I had in command.”
Commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet, Rear Adm. Hugh D. Wetherald was the guest speaker and addressed the guests and crew aboard Ashland.
“The Sailors aboard ASHLAND aren’t just good, they set the standard for the all the waterfront to follow,“ said Wetherald. “The intense focus, hard work, dedication, and doing it right the first time, resulted in accomplishments few have achieved.”
Duhan previously completed a tour as Navigator onboard the Ashland from March 2001 to December 2002 and has returned twelve years later, serving as Ashland's executive officer since January 2014, which helped prepare him for the transition to commanding officer.
"I have full faith he will successfully command this exceptional crew during his time as commanding officer,” said Patterson.
Duhan, a native of Angola, NY graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 1998 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ocean Engineering. He also attended the Naval Post Graduate School earning a Master of Science Degree in Operational Analysis.
"I am thrilled and humbled to follow in some great footsteps, leading the best Team in the Pacific, onboard USS ASHLAND, “ said Duhan. “I look forward to the opportunities ahead as we deploy with our Marine Corps Team and operate with our partner nations.”
Duhan's previous department head assignments included Engineering Officer aboard MHC Crew Loyalty, and as part of a rotational crew, embarked in USS Cardinal (MHC-60), USS Shrike (MHC-62), and USS Pelican (MHC-53). He also served as the Engineering Officer aboard the USS New Orleans (LPD-18).
His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) and various other unit citations.
Ashland is part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and is assigned to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.