USS Howard (DDG 83) held a change of command ceremony on the ship’s flight deck at Naval Base San Diego, Nov. 8.
Cmdr. Ennis Parker, a native of Atlanta, assumed command of the guided-missile destroyer from Cmdr. Andrew Bucher, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Bucher departs after completing a 14-month command tour aboard Howard. He also served as Howard’s executive officer, leading the ship for a total of 209 days at sea while conducting operations across three fleets, including three multinational exercises. Bucher assumed command of Howard in September of 2018, and he oversaw the largest-ever west coast destroyer modernization period which upgraded Howard’s AEGIS weapons system to baseline 9.2.C, making it the most capable destroyer in the fleet. Additionally, he led the ship in the completion of numerous ship-wide certifications, and the commencement of a rigorous training cycle.
“It has been an absolute privilege to lead the world’s finest Sailors on board USS Howard during these past 14 months,” said Bucher. “I will forever cherish my time as commanding officer and am excited for the bright future that lies ahead for the entire crew."
Bucher’s next assignment is with OPNAV N96 in Washington, D.C.
Howard serves as a ballistic and guided missile defense platform homeported in San Diego and assigned to Destroyer Squadron Nine.