GUAM (Sept. 23, 2018) The crew of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) held a change of command ceremony on the flight deck while moored at Naval Base Guam Sept. 23, 2018.
Cmdr. James “Andy” Strickland relieved Cmdr. Ted Wiederholt as the 12th commanding officer of the 17-year-old war ship.
“I was able to my job because of what you [the crew] did.” said Wiederholt. “100,000 mies! That is a lot of miles in 19 months. You are the most competent, the most experienced, and the best crew around.”
Wiederholt thanked every department, the officers mess, and the chief petty officers mess for their dedication and commitment to himself and the ship.
Wiederholt led Shoup and its crew through two significant deployments while participating in exercises and certifications such as the Chief of Naval Operations’s Maintenance Availability (CMAV), Readiness Evaluation (READ-E3), Ready for Sea Assessment (RFSA), Supply Materials Certification (SMC), the Essex Amphibious Ready Group Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise (MEU), Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and the Submarine Combatant Commander mini wars.
During the 14 of the 18 months underway, the Everett, Wash.-based destroyer visited several ports including Anchorage, Alaska; San Diego, Calif.; Oahu, Hawaii; Chennai, India; Naval Base Bahrain; Oman; Naval Base Guam; and Vancouver, Canada.
Most recently, Shoup finished participating in Valiant Shield 2018, a U.S. exclusive, biennial field training exercise with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces, in the 7th Fleet area of operations with Task Force 70.
Strickland will take the helm for the next year and a half and lead the ship through an inspection and survey (INSURV) and move into dry dock period for necessary repairs.
“I certainly would not have had this incredible opportunity without the love, support, and mentorship of a steady cast of amazing people whose lives miraculously intersected mine and encouraged me to continue to seek greater challenges and opportunities,” Strickland said.
Addressing the crew, Strickland exclaimed, “you are the most professional, tenacious and resilient team I have ever had the pleasure to be part of.” Strickland ended his first speech as commanding officer with two chants of “Hooyah Shoup!”.
Shoup is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency.