Germantown Holds Change of Command Ceremony in White Beach, Okinawa

Story Number: NNS141029-03Release Date: 10/29/2014 11:50:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray, USS Germantown Public Affairs

WHITE BEACH, Okinawa (NNS) -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) held a change of command ceremony in Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 27.

Cmdr. Gary Harrington relieved Capt. Marvin Thompson as commanding officer.

"I am extremely proud of the Germantown crew and their demonstrated professionalism," said Thompson. "This is the most talented crew that I have ever served with."

Thompson assumed command of Germantown March 7, leading the crew through a number of critical warfare area certifications and inspections. The command also earned the Battle Efficiency "E" award, Pacific Fleet Health and Wellness Unit "Green H" award, Navy Surgeon General's Health Promotion and Wellness "Blue H" award and the Retention Excellence "Golden Anchor" award during his tenure.

"Leading the ship through the entire certification cycle, which culminated with a highly-successful INSURV material inspection, was an important period in the ship's life," said Thompson. "This reinforced the importance of procedural compliance, knowing our ship and how to operate it. All of these challenges improved our readiness for deployment."

Harrington served as Germantown's executive officer since August 2013, which helped prepare him for the transition to commanding officer.

"Cmdr. Harrington is an experienced amphibious professional; he has been ready for some time to be the commanding officer," said Thompson. "I know he will be an exceptional commanding officer and continue to improve the command."

Harrington, a native of La Vista, Nebraska, enlisted in the Navy in 1992. He earned his commission through the Seaman to Admiral Program in 1998. He graduated from Jacksonville University with a Bachelor of Science in finance and management as well as a master's degree in business administration. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College Maritime Advanced Warfighting School.

"Captain Thompson and I worked very well together from day one, so the transition from executive officer to commanding officer was seamless," said Harrington. "We have a great working relationship and I look forward to building on our successes as he transitions back to Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11."

Harrington's previous department head assignments included chief engineer in MHC Crew Conquest, MCM Crew Swerve and chief engineer aboard the amphibious transfer dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19).

His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards) and various other unit and campaign service medals and ribbons.

"This is the finest crew that I have served with in my 24 years of Naval Service, and I am honored to be their commanding officer," said Harrington.

Germantown is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, commanded by Capt. Heidi Agle, and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

An amphibious assault vehicle assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) embarks the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) during the Amphibious Landing Exercise 2015 (PHIBLEX15).
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
October 9, 2014
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