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    USS Makin Island Changes Command

    USS Makin Island Changes Command

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Austin Breum | 190315-N-GQ458-1022 SAN DIEGO (March 15, 2019) — The color guard parades the colors...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Laramore 

    USS Makin Island (LHD 8)

    Capt. Christopher Westphal assumed command of USS Makin Island (LHD 8) from Capt. David Oden during a change of command ceremony, March 15.

    Westphal served as Makin Island’s executive officer for 15 months during the ship’s depot-level maintenance period. In addition, he served as Oden’s second in command for the entirety of his tenure.

    During this time, Oden increased advancement rates aboard Makin Island by 75 percent resulting in advancement selection rate 15 percent above the Navy average. He led Makin Island through a $140 million Chief of Naval Operations Docking Phased Maintenance Availability.

    “My time here has been so memorable,” said Oden. “Makin Island has such a tremendous crew and their tenacity during this maintenance period embodies the spirit of the Makin Island Raiders. I leave behind a skipper who is more than capable of getting this ship back out to sea. I wish Capt. Westphal the best of luck.”

    During the ceremony, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE Commander Adm. Cedric Pringle awarded Oden the Legion of Merit for his performance as commanding officer.

    “This event gives us a moment to honor Capt. Dave Oden, Raider 7, whose devotion and leadership aboard Makin Island for nearly three years, has truly embodied the ship’s motto, ‘Gung Ho,’ working together,” said Pringle. “This day is also an occasion to welcome a familiar face, Capt. Christopher Westphal, who is now stepping into the role of commanding officer, or better known as Raider 8."

    Westphal said he is both excited and anxious to take over the role of CO.

    “I know this crew and what they are capable of,” said Westphal. “While we have some pretty daunting trials ahead of us, the crew has already met every challenge head-on and performed superbly. With Capt. Ulmer coming on as XO, I know we will only get better.”

    Capt. Thomas Ulmer, who previously served at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, will take over the position of executive officer.

    Makin Island, an amphibious assault ship homeported in San Diego, is currently completing a depot-level maintenance availability.



    Date Taken: 03.15.2019
    Date Posted: 03.15.2019 15:01
    Story ID: 314443
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 
    Hometown: ALBUQUERQUE, NM, US
    Hometown: INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US

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