New Commander aboard USS Jimmy Carter

US Navy’s Seawolf-class attack submarine USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) held a change of command ceremony on May 29 at Deterrent Park aboard Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor.

Cmdr. Melvin Smith relieved Cmdr. Brian Elkowitz as commanding officer of the submarine. The ship’s namesake, former President Jimmy Carter, and ship’s sponsor, former first lady Rosalynn Carter also attended the event.

During Elkowitz’s command tour, which began in March 2012, USS Jimmy Carter completed five missions vital to national security and underwent a 17 month-long docking phased maintenance availability period.

In addition, Jimmy Carter earned the Battle Efficiency Award, or Battle “E”, for 2012 and 2013. The ship was honored with the U.S. Submarine Forces Pacific Retention Excellence Award for 2012 and 2014, as well as the crew being awarded the Presidential Unit Commendation and the Navy Unit Commendation.

Elkowitz’s next assignment will be to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Smith reports to Jimmy Carter from Navy Personnel Command, where he was the submarine assignments branch head and executive officer detailer.

USS Jimmy Carter is the last and most advanced of the Seawolf-class attack submarines and is currently homeported at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, Washington.

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Image: US Navy