170428-N-VV532-177 SAN DIEGO, California (April 28, 2017) Cmdr. Wayne Liebold’s family helps him affix his Command at Sea pin after a change of command ceremony for USS Montgomery (LCS 8) Blue Crew. Montgomery Blue Crew is conducting training and certification in their homeport of San Diego, California, in preparation for assuming duties onboard USS Montgomery (LCS 8). (U.S. Navy Photo by Electronics Technician 1st Class Adam J. Ross/Released)
USS Montgomery Blue Crew Holds Change of Command

Cmdr. Wayne Liebold relieved Cmdr. Daniel Straub as commanding officer of USS Montgomery (LCS 8) Blue Crew in a ceremony held onboard Montgomery, April 28.

Capt. Jake Douglas, commanding officer of Afloat Training Group, San Diego was the guest speaker for the ceremony. He had high praise for Cmdr. Straub and the crew.

“It was such an honor to be asked to be the guest speaker by my good friend, Dan Straub, who I highly respect and is such a great leader,” said Douglas.

Montgomery Blue was the commissioning crew for Montgomery in Mobile, Alabama. The ship arrived in San Diego in November 2016 after transiting the Panama Canal in October of the same year.

"Serving as the commanding officer of Montgomery Blue has been the most rewarding tour of my career," said Straub. "These Sailors are the best of the best, and they performed at the top of their game under some very tough circumstances. As a team, we overcame a myriad of challenges as we commissioned the ship, sailed her from Mobile, and brought her to her homeport here in San Diego. I take great pride in knowing my crew will continue to be successful after I depart."

After he leaves San Diego, Straub will be a senior military fellow at the Center for New American Security in Washington, D.C.

Liebold is looking forward to his tour as commanding officer of Montgomery Blue. He recently turned over duties as the crew’s executive officer to Cmdr. Edward Rosso.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead this crew,” said Liebold. “I have been awed by their ability to accomplish any task put before them, from the delivery and commissioning of Montgomery, to her recent successful Final Contract Trials. I look forward to the opportunities ahead of us to bring our crew and Montgomery's capabilities to the operational fleet commander in support of the Navy's mission.”

USS Montgomery Blue Crew is preparing to rotate back on-hull as part of the blue/gold concept of two crews per littoral combat ship. The crew will be taking Montgomery through its Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) this year.

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