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New Captain takes the Helm of USS Nimitz

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070317-03
Release Date: 3/17/2007 11:30:00 AM

From USS Nimitz Public Affairs Office

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Capt. Michael Manazir, Commanding Officer USS Nimitz (CVN 68), relieved Capt. Ted N. Branch at a change of command ceremony held March 16 aboard the Nimitz.

Branch has had a 28-year career as a Naval officer. He pioneered efforts to attain and maintain a high degree of professionalism in all tasks, thereby achieving the ship’s superior combat capability.

“[Branch] has been a great leader and has an absolute passion for people who, in turn, want to follow him,” said Vice Adm. James Zortman, Commander, Naval Air Forces.

Branch, a native of Long Beach, Mississippi, has been the Nimitz’ commanding officer since Nov. 23, 2004. He will temporarily be assigned to Commander, Naval Air Forces based at Naval Air Station North Island.

Capt. Manazir, the son of a career Marine Corps officer, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1981 and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1983.

Manazir comes to Nimitz from Commander, Naval Air Forces based at Naval Air Station North Island where he served as operations and training officer. He has completed nine extended deployments to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf and has combined more than 3,000 F-14 A/D flight hours and 900 carrier-arrested landings.

“I recognize all the hard work that has been put in leading up to deployment,” Manazir said to his new crew. “I will run to catch up with the pace you’ve set.”

Capt. Manazir will be commanding the Nimitz as they head out on their scheduled six-month deployment in April.

Nimitz, one of 11 capital warships, is the flagship for Commander, Carrier Strike Group 11 and is homeported in San Diego. The crew consists of 195 officers and 2,915 enlisted. Commands, detachments and units deployed on board as tenant activities include: Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23.

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