USS America Holds First Change of Command

The crew of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) hosted its first change of command May 7, while moored at Naval Base San Diego.

In front of a crowd of close to 200 guests and nearly 500 crew members in ranks, Capt. Michael W. Baze relieved Capt. Robert A. Hall Jr. as commanding officer. The formal ceremony consisted of a performance from U.S. Navy Band Southwest and the colors were presented by a joint color guard of Navy and Marine Corps service members.

The event marked the end of a successful tour for Hall who served as commanding officer from 2012 through May 2015. Hall reflected on his experience as the ship’s first skipper and gave his perspective on America’s journey from christening to commissioning.

Baze, who served as America’s executive officer, expressed his thanks to Hall and America’s first Command Master Chief Chad Lunsford for beginning the legacy of this unique platform.

Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a post-reception in the ship’s hangar bay where Hall placed the command-at-sea pin on Baze, symbolizing the leadership transition.

America (LHA 6) is the fourth ship named “America” and the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships.

Image: US Navy

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