SAN DIEGO – The officers and crew of Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 3 held a change of command ceremony on board Naval Base San Diego, June 11.
During the ceremony, Capt. Keith A. Knutsen relieved Capt. Edmund B. Hernandez as MCMRON 3 commander.
The guest speaker for the event was Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces.
“The ships and crew have performed magnificently,” said Hernandez. “With their spirit, attitude, stance and swagger I know they are going to take care of business and be ready to fight. I’m just very proud of the whole crew.”
Hernandez assumed command of MCMRON 3 in December 2015, overseeing the manning, training and equipping of seven Avenger-class mine sweepers while also serving as the class advocate for the ships.
“They are the youngest crew with the most dangerous job going into those mine fields,” said Hernandez. “I couldn’t be prouder of this crew and how they perform.”
Before reporting to MCMRON 3 as the deputy commander, Knutsen collected a wealth of knowledge and expertise that includes an individual augmentation tour in Iraq, serving as the commanding officer of USS Taylor (FFG 50), and serving as the deputy director for the senior officer ship material readiness course.
"I am very anxious and excited to get started. What excites me the most is leading Sailors,” said Knutsen. “That’s the most rewarding part of the job - leading Sailors and watching them grow and succeed.”
The operational mission of MCMRON 3 is to conduct prompt and sustained combat and non-combat operations by coordinating the employment of surface MCM ships and crews assigned to the squadron.
Administratively, MCMRON 3 supports the type commander by providing trained crews and materially ready ships for deployment to fleet commanders.