BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Commander, Carrier Strike Group 3 (CCSG 3) held a change of command during a ceremony on board USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sept. 25.
In the ceremony, Rear Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin relieved Rear Adm. Mark A. Vance and assumed duties as CSG 3 commander.
Aucoin assumed command of Carrier Strike Group 3, reporting from Chief of Naval Operations Staff, deputy director, air warfare (N88B). Aucoin's fleet assignments include deployments from both coasts in Fighter Squadron 33 embarked aboard USS America (CV 66); Fighter Squadron 84 embarked aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and Fighter Squadron 41 aboard USS Roosevelt (CVN 71). He served as Carrier Air Wing 8 operations officer embarked aboard Roosevelt and returned to Fighter Squadron 41 as commanding officer embarked aboard USS Kennedy (CV 67) and Roosevelt. He commanded Carrier Air Wing 5 forward deployed in Japan and embarked aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63).
Under Vance's leadership, the CSG 3 excelled during a regularly scheduled six-month deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. He led complex coalition exercises with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and Republic of Korea Navy while seamlessly integrating the Canadian Frigate HMCS Winnipeg into strike group operations. The strike group also executed effective, disciplined theater security cooperation activities, including the first post-war distinguished visitor embark from Vietnam as well as engagement with high ranking military officers and distinguished civilian guests from Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and the People's Republic of China.
Off the coast of Alaska, Vance directed strike group operations during Exercise Northern Edge in conjunction with Air Force and Marine Corps forces, gathering invaluable lessons learned which will be used to develop and improve vital multi-service tactics, techniques, and procedures. Elements of the deployed Strike Group were Carrier Air Wing 9, USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Kidd (DDG 100).
Vance has served as Commander, Carrier Strike Group 3 since September, 2008. His next assignment is Chief of Naval Operations Staff, Director, Programming Division (N80), in Washington.
For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.