USS Blue Ridge Changes Command

USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, held a change of command ceremony at the Fleet Theater at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Jan. 16.

Capt. Kyle Higgins relieved Capt. Richard McCormack as Blue Ridge commanding officer after 15 months at the helm.

After reading his orders accepting command of Blue Ridge, Higgins stressed the importance of teamwork to his Sailors.

Guest speaker Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald praised McCormack for his leadership skills, noting McCormack’s ensured reliability of satellite and network systems to support multinational military exercises Key Resolve 2014 and Ulchi-Freedom Guardian 2014.

Higgins assumes command after serving as executive officer aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). As a naval flight officer, Higgins also accumulated more than 2,300 flight hours and 790 arrested landings and was awarded Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (COMNAVAIRLANT) Carrier Naval Flight Officer (NFO) of the year for 2003.

Higgins is the 27th commanding officer of Blue Ridge since the ship’s commissioning Nov. 14, 1970.

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Press release, Image: US Navy