Crowder Takes CCDG-3's Helm

Story Number: NNS040729-13Release Date: 7/29/2004 3:19:00 PM
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By Journalist Seaman Michael Cook, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Afffairs

ABOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (NNS) -- Rear Adm. William Crowder relieved Rear Adm. Jacob Shuford as commander of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group and Cruiser Destroyer Group (CCDG) 3 July 20, in a change-of-command ceremony held on Lincoln's flight deck.

Shuford reported to CCDG-3 in the fall of 2003 shortly before Lincoln departed Everett, Wash., for a 10-month Dry-docked Planned Incremental Availability at Bremerton's Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Naval Station Bremerton.

"This ship is a national treasure," said Shuford during the ceremony. He went on to thank the Sailors of CCDG-3 for helping him along the way.

"The people and crew that I've worked with here have been absolutely magnificent," Shuford said. "I have a great deal of pride in sharing the decks with these absolutely incredible Sailors. I couldn't ask for a more capable bunch of men and women."

Shuford's next assignment is to assume command as the 51st president of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

Crowder is reporting from the Naval Operations Group on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C.

After Crowder gave the order to "break" his flag, marking the beginning of his command, he thanked Shuford, a longtime friend, and commented on his excitement to lead CCDG-3.

"Thank you, Rear Adm. Shuford, for over two decades of your friendship and counsel," Crowder said. "To the staff, your reputation is beyond reproach. I am humbled and proud to be given the chance to work with every single one of you."

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