SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) Gold Crew held a change of command ceremony aboard the ship’s flight deck while pierside at Naval Base Guam, Oct. 9.
Cmdr. Brian Luebbert, a native of Henderson, Kentucky, assumed command of the on-hull crew from Cmdr. Matthew Lehmann, a native of Akron, Ohio.
Lehmann completed a successful command tour with Gabrielle Giffords Gold, which included multiple ship-wide certification events, tactics enhancement, the installation of the new Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and Gabrielle Giffords’ first deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
“I am thrilled for the future of the toughest crew in the fleet,” said Lehmann. “Gabrielle Giffords’ crew overcame all challenges from maintenance to deployment. They completed light-off assessment, accomplished Basic Phase, SWATT and Group Sail training events, deployed on time and achieved the first-ever launch of the Naval Strike Missile, all thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Gold and Blue crews. USS Gabrielle Giffords has demonstrated LCS lethality and continues to be ready for any operational assignment."
Lehmann’s next assignment is to Commander, Task Force 70/Carrier Strike Group 5 in Yokosuka, Japan.
Luebbert, who recently served as executive officer of USS Gabrielle Giffords Gold, said, “I am honored and humbled to return to this amazing crew. They are hands down the best crew in the Navy. We are ready to carry out our mission and own the fight.”
Gabrielle Giffords is the fifth LCS to deploy to the U.S. 7th Fleet. Previously deployed LCS include USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4) and USS Montgomery (LCS 8). All five ships are assigned to 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. The 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.
For more news from Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, visit www.navy.mil/local/lcsron1/.