PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Capt. Dee Mewbourne assumed command of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in a ceremony Nov. 11, following the sudden death of Capt. Tushar Tembe.
Tembe collapsed Nov. 8 as he was departing the ship, and Truman's executive officer; Capt. Craig Clapperton, temporarily assumed command until Mewbourne was identified.
"This ceremony is about continuity and the chain of command," said Clapperton. "We took a tremendous blow this week. This morning we stand back up from that blow and proceed forward."
Rear Adm. Herman Shelanski, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 10, praised Clapperton, who resumed his duties as executive officer, for his strong leadership following Tembe's death.
"As a former commanding officer of Truman, I care greatly about the ship and crew," said Shelanski. "Capt. Clapperton should be commended on how he assumed the role of the commanding officer. He did a marvelous job and ensured Truman had strong leadership throughout this tough period."
Shelanski also said he had no doubts that Mewbourne was the correct choice to lead Truman out of the shipyard and back to sea. Mewbourne, who also commanded USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and most recently USS Enterprise (CVN 65), is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who also attended the Navy's Top Gun flight school. He boasts an extensive flying record and has accumulated 3,500 total flight hours.
"Thank you for placing your confidence in me," said Mewbourne. "I'm honored to be the captain of Truman. I'm marveled by the past operational successes of the ship, and I look forward to working with everyone."
Truman is currently undergoing a docking planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and is scheduled to return to the fleet in the summer of 2012.