New York Holds Change of Command at Sea

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zane P. Ecklund, USS New York Public Affairs

USS NEW YORK, At Sea (NNS) — Amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) held a change of command ceremony while at sea during her maiden deployment June 20.

Capt. Jon C. Kreitz relieved Cmdr. William Herrmann as commanding officer.

“While it is a sad day to leave New York, I do so honored to have served with arguably the finest crew in the Navy,” said Herrmann. “Looking back on everything the ship has accomplished and the strides the crew has made for the New York, as well as the San Antonio Class, I could not be more proud.”

Herrmann’s next duty station is United States Northern Command, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Kreitz becomes the third commanding officer in the ship’s history.

“It is an incredible, humbling honor to assume command of this amazing warship and her crew who so profoundly memorialize the courage and strength of the heroes of 9/11,” said Kreitz. “I am excited and eagerly looking forward to serving with and leading through the challenges we will face during the remainder of New York’s maiden deployment and beyond.”

“I pledge to everyone who sails on New York that I will always give you and your families my fullest support and that I will ensure that together we accomplish our mission and return home safely,” said Kreitz.

Kreitz enlisted in the Navy in 1982, and after a tour on board the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) received his commission through the Navy ROTC program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to assuming command of New York, Kreitz served as the executive assistant to the Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force.

“The Navy change of command process is the healthiest part about serving in the military,” said New York’s Command Master Chief Rafael Perez. “As the ship goes through its life cycle, the commanding officers put a stamp on their leadership and personalities on various stages of that life cycle. Cmdr. Herrmann was perfect to take the ship from commissioning through her preparations to the 1st deployment in her life cycle. His superb mariner skills and his outstanding instructional manner combined to set a level of excellence in ship handling that will stay with the ship for many years,” said Perez.

New York is part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. New York is currently on her maiden deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. New York is the sixth ship named for the state of New York, and the fifth amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. Her motto is “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”

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