Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) held a change of command ceremony on the flight deck July 2.
Capt. Wayne R. Brown relieved Capt. John E. Gumbleton as commanding officer.
Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, presided over the ceremony and presented Gumbleton with a Legion of Merit for his exceptional service as commanding officer.
“This is a big day for you [Capt. Gumbleton], each change of command commemorates and keeps alive our heritage with a peaceful transfer of power between two very well-qualified officers,” said Copeman. “Everyone here is witnessing this small piece of the continuation of command when, without bloodshed, one commander relinquishes control of a mighty warship to another and I think it’s a beautiful thing.”
Under Gumbleton’s leadership, Boxer recently completed a successful eight month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
The ship was also awarded the Retention Excellence Award for outstanding retention during 2013 for a second consecutive year along with the Battle “E” award for a third consecutive year in 2013. Boxer also won the 2013 Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund award upon arrival home from the deployment this year, recognizing it as the best warship in the Pacific fleet and the 2013 SECNAV Safety Award. Gumbleton’s next assignment is at Chief of Naval Operations, Strategic Studies Group in Newport, Rhode Island.
Brown complimented Gumbleton’s ability to command the ship and its crew.
Copeman welcomed Brown to his new position prior to the reading of orders.
Boxer returned from deployment in April and is now undergoing a maintenance availability at Naval Base San Diego.
Press Release, July 11, 2014; Image: US Navy