WEST BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Capt. Rich Blank relieved Capt. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper as commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD), during a July 2 ceremony.
As the 36th commander, Blank reports to NSWCCD after serving most recently as the Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) technical director for Surface Ship Design and Systems Engineering. Over the course of his career, he also served in other assignments within NAVSEA, including Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and supported the DD(X) Program within the Program Executive Office for Ships.
As an engineering duty officer with both a Surface Warfare and Diving and Salvage Officer background, his previous assignments include Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, aboard USS Suribachi (AE-21), the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, and USSOCOM. A graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he received his commission through the ROTC program at the College of the Holy Cross and his master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School.
Rear Adm. Thomas Eccles, NAVSEA's chief engineer and deputy commander for Naval Systems Engineering for Naval Sea Systems Command, served as the event's keynote speaker.
"Captain Rich Blank is coming here from a tour at NAVSEA headquarters where he was responsible for surface ship programs technical support," said Eccles. "He is exactly the right person at the right time to take Carderock to its next level of achievement."
"I am looking forward to working with the scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff, not just here in West Bethesda and Philadelphia, but in Norfolk, Cape Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Memphis, Bayview, Bangor, and in Ketchikan that keep today's Fleet active and strive for a better, more affordable fleet for tomorrow," said Blank. "I am honored to lead this amazing organization so steeped in Naval history."
Stefanyshyn-Piper has been selected to command the Navy's Southwest Regional Maintenance Center in San Diego.
"With sites across the country from Maryland and Pennsylvania to Florida, Tennessee, Idaho, Washington and Alaska, Capt. Piper has been the steward of one of the Navy's crown jewels in the development of ships and ship systems," said Eccles. "Under difficult constraints of tightening resources, she has delivered timely and valued answers to some of our most technically challenging problems while maintaining a creative and stimulating environment for some of our most expert technologists."
"My time at the Carderock Division has been extremely rewarding," said Piper. "This is the place where vision is transformed into reality and innovation flows from cutting-edge science and technology into our Navy's ships and submarines. The work that is accomplished at Carderock has a direct impact on our sailors and this great country's Fleet."
NSWCCD is a Naval Sea Systems Command field activity. Its responsibilities span a broad range including science and technology, research and development, test and evaluation, product delivery and fleet support. The Carderock Division leads the Navy in hull, mechanical and electrical engineering expertise and delivers technical solutions to the fleet. Headquartered in West Bethesda, Md., NSWCCD's approximately 3,600 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel are located at facilities across the United States.
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