New Commander aboard USS Anchorage

Capt. Michael McKenna relieved Cmdr. Joel Stewart as commanding officer aboard San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) during a change of command ceremony, August 15.


Stewart, a plankowner of Anchorage, began his tour as Anchorage’s executive officer and commissioned the ship in Anchorage, Alaska May 13, 2013. During his tenure, Anchorage completed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Forum, Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014, Underway Recovery Test (URT-2) for NASA’s Orion Program, and a port visit to San Pedro, California for LA Navy Days.

McKenna, a native of Missoula, Montana, attended Aviation Officer Candidate School through the Naval Aviation Cadet program in 1987. He was designated a Naval Aviator and commissioned an ensign in 1989 at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.

McKenna’s tours of duty include USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134, and U.S. Northern Command. He commanded VAQ-129 and VAQ-141. He was selected for major command in 2009 and served as USS Ronald Reagan’s executive officer from 2012-2014.

Anchorage is currently in a cycle of pre-deployment training exercises to prepare the ship and crew for a deployment in 2015.

Press Release, August 19, 2014; Image: US Navy

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