Ike Hosts CCSG 8 Change of Command Ceremony

Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Eight held a change of command ceremony while deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (IKE), June 14.

Rear Adm. Michael Gilday relieved Rear Adm. Michael Manazir in front of assembled members of CSG 8, IKE, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, and Destroyer Squadron 28 staffs in the ship’s hangar bay.

Manazir spoke briefly about his time with the Strike Group before Gilday read his orders.

 “I am going to miss Carrier Strike Group Eight,” Manazir said. “But, I leave feeling tremendously rewarded by the superb accomplishments of every single Sailor on this phenomenal team. They impressed me every day!”

Carrier Strike Group Eight has been embarked onboard IKE since October 2011, deployed in June 2012 with a brief two-month return to homeport from December 2012 to February 2013, before deploying again to support maritime security operations and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Manazir previously commanded the Tomcatters of Fighter Squadron (VF) 31, USS Sacramento (AOE 1) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68). He assumed the responsibilities as commander of CSG 8 in October 2011. He has been selected to two-star rank.

Manazir leaves to take over as director, Air Warfare (OPNAV N98) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). In this capacity, he will be responsible for the development, programming, and budgeting of all Naval aviation warfighting requirements.

Gilday is a native of Massachusetts and a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. A surface warfare officer, his tours at sea include command of Destroyer Squadron Seven as sea combat commander for the Ronald Reagan carrier strike group. He also commanded the destroyers USS Higgins (DDG 76) and USS Benfold (DDG 65).

Gilday was most recently assigned as chief of staff for Striking and Support Forces NATO in Lisbon, Portugal, which he assumed in June 2012.

Gilday said he is looking forward to his time as commander of CSG 8.

 “I can tell you that Carrier Strike Group Eight’s reputation precedes it,” Gilday said. “This team has been the most active Strike Group in the Navy for the last two years from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and into 5th Fleet. I am excited to be here.”

CSG 8, embarked aboard IKE, is operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility promoting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

Press Release, June 14, 2013