USNS Lewis B. Puller hosts Change of Command Ceremony

Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne relieved Rear Adm. T. K. Shannon as commander, Military Sealift Command, during a change of command ceremony aboard USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB 3).

Gen. Darren W. McDew, commander, U.S. Transportation Command, and Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, were the guest speakers.

Shannon, a native of Calais, Maine, assumed command of MSC May 10, 2013, and ensured ready logistics support for carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups and ground force commanders operating forward every day.

While under Shannon’s command, MSC ships delivered services, supplies and equipment to all branches of the U.S. military and their combatant commanders around the world.

During his tenure, Shannon expanded the Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF) class from two ships in the delivery and initial operations stage to seven ships with four of them forward deployed. His foresight and leadership expanded the platform mission from a fast-transport cargo ship to a multi-mission Theater Security Cooperation and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance platform conducting national-level strategic missions around the world. Additionally, he oversaw the introduction of our Navy’s first Expeditionary Sea Base (T-ESB) and Expeditionary Transfer Dock (T-ESD) platforms into the maritime seabasing concept.

“Serving as the commander of MSC and working with our team of Mariners, Sailors and shore-based civil servants has truly been an honor,” said Shannon. “I look forward to seeing our talented team of professionals continue to do our nation’s important work providing sealift and maritime transportation.”

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and native of Ormond Beach, Florida, Mewbourne assumed command of MSC today following his latest tour of duty as the director of maritime operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, in Norfolk, Virginia.

“Building on the legacy of Admiral Shannon, Military Sealift Command will ensure the Navy is ready to fight and win anywhere in the maritime domain, making America safer for our families today and for future generations,”
said Mewbourne.

His previous command tours include: Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139 embarked in USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), USS Nashville (LPD 13), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Naval Service Training Command, and Carrier Strike Groups THREE and ELEVEN.

Mewbourne’s completed sea assignments include flying the A-6E Intruder aircraft in Attack Squadron (VA) 34 embarked in USS America (CV 66); VA-75 embarked in USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67); Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Three embarked in Eisenhower; and as the executive officer of VA-196 embarked in USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). After transitioning to the EA-6B Prowler aircraft, he served as the executive officer of VAQ-139 embarked in Lincoln. He also served as the executive officer in USS George Washington (CVN 73).

Ashore, Mewbourne served as a flight instructor in VA-42, the East Coast A-6E Fleet Replacement Squadron, and project officer at the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate. Later, he served as military assistant and trip coordinator for the secretary and deputy secretary of defense; chief of staff for Navy Cyber Forces and on the staff of Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic.

Following the change of command ceremony, Shannon retired after 34 years of faithful service to our Navy and nation.