GULFPORT, Miss. (October 3, 2019) (NNS) -- The Independence-variant littoral combat ship known as the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) held a change of command on the ship’s flight deck at Port of Gulfport’s West Pier October 3.
Cmdr. Jedediah Kloppel, a native of Spearfish, South Dakota, assumed command of the ship from Cmdr. Kurt Braeckel, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Braeckel completed a successful 17-month commissioning command tour with Cincinnati, training and preparing the crew to bring the ship to life Oct. 5.
“Delivering and commissioning a ship is not for the faint of heart,” said Braeckel. “This crew has done it twice in less than 18 months and has excelled in the face of every challenge. The spirit of her plank owner crew is reflected in Cincinnati’s motto, ‘Strength in Unity.’ I am extremely fortunate to have been a part of this fantastic team."
Braeckel completes a 20-year naval career and will retire from active duty January 2020.
Kloppel, who recently served as executive officer of USS Cincinnati, said, “I have had the honor of working with the Cincinnati crew as the XO and have seen, firsthand, the relentless effort that drives this crew. To say that I am proud to take command of Cincinnati would be an understatement.”
The future USS Cincinnati is the fifth U.S. Navy ship to honor Ohio’s third largest city. Cincinnati will serve as a mine countermeasure mission module platform along with USS Manchester (LCS 14), USS Tulsa (LCS 16), and USS Charleston (LCS 18), and is assigned to Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One.
LCS vessels are highly versatile, mission-focused surface combatant ships designed to operate in the littoral regions, as well as on the open ocean. This ship platform is designed to respond to evolving threats through integration with innovative mine hunting, sonar, and surface engagement technology. The LCS satisfies a vital need for the United States Navy to operate in shallow water as well as the high seas.
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