New Commander aboard USS Kauffman
Guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) held a change of command ceremony Sept. 2.
Cmdr. Michael Concannon relieved Cmdr. Jennifer Couture as commanding officer.
Kauffman’s 17th commanding officer, Couture assumed command in February 2013. Her tour was highlighted by successful unit certifications in search and rescue, navigation, seamanship, aviation operations, damage control, and anti-terrorism and force protection. Couture also led the ship through a successful six-month maintenance availability, during which the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate received significant material repairs, an upgraded information systems suite, and extensive bilge preservation.
Crew accomplishments under Couture’s command included two consecutive awards of the “Green H” for Health and Wellness and qualification to display both the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and Surface Warfare Officer Qualification pennants.
Couture will next serve as the assistant chief of staff for personnel on the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic.
Concannon, formerly Kauffman’s executive officer, enlisted in the Navy in 1987 as a Machinist’s Mate and later received his commission from the Citadel in 1996. Ashore, he twice completed the Naval Nuclear Power Training pipeline, served twice as a Nuclear Power Training Unit instructor, completed a Global War on Terror Support Assignment (GSA) in Iraq, and served on the staff at U.S. Fleet Forces. His sea tours include USS Daniel Boone (SSBN 629), USS Vicksburg (CG 69), USS Reuben James (FFG 57), and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Kauffman will depart on her final deployment in early 2015, to Central and South America for a Counter Transnational Organized Crime/Counter Illicit Trafficking mission before returning to Norfolk to begin the decommissioning process. Kauffman is due to decommission next fall as the last of the U.S. Navy frigates.