PEARL HARBOR– Cmdr. Scott P. Maloney relieved Cmdr. Christopher J. Forch as commanding officer of USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) in a ceremony held at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, June 30.
Forch, a native of Stratton, Nebraska and the ship’s sixth commanding officer, assumed command of Michael Murphy in March 2019. He previously served as the ship’s executive officer from June 2017 to December 2018.
“Serving as the Commanding Officer of the USS Michael Murphy has been an honor and a privilege,” said Forch. “This is a fine warship that carries a great history from both its namesake and its performance over the years. I am truly sad to go but I am leaving it in great hands with Cmdr. Scott Maloney and Cmdr. Jason Lautar as the executive officer. They will continue to lead the fight and excel throughout their time onboard.”
While in command, Forch led the ship and her 300-plus crewmembers through U.S. Third Fleet tasking in support of Operation Bold Response, a U.S. Fourth Fleet deployment to participate in UNITAS and Teamwork South 2019, a Boxer Amphibious Ready Group Composite Training Unit Exercise, and several other underway periods totaling over 100 days away from homeport.
For his next tour, Forch is headed ashore to Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, RI.As Michael Murphy’s newest commanding officer, Maloney, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, is no stranger to the ship as he most recently served as Michael Murphy’s executive officer from December 2018 to March 2020. His previous sea tours include USS Curts (FFG 38), USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), and USS Decatur (DDG 73). Ashore, he completed tours at Afloat Training Group in San Diego, and Afloat Training Group Pacific, Joint Special Operations Task Force in the Philippines.
Commissioned in 2012, Michael Murphy is named after Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in 2005. Murphy was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan and was the Navy's first Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War.