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USS Georgia's Blue Crew Holds Change of Command

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120111-05

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Arthur de la Cruz, Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia

DIEGO GARCIA (NNS) -- Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia (SSGN 729) (Blue) held a change of command ceremony on the island of Diego Garcia, in the British Indian Ocean Territory, Jan. 10.

Capt. Daniel G. Christofferson relieved Capt. John K. McDowell as commanding officer of Georgia's Blue Crew.

Capt. Michael K. Cockey, Georgia's Gold Crew commanding officer, bade farewell to his counterpart and commented on the ship's success while under McDowell's command.

"I want to express my sincerest appreciation to the crew...who worked so hard to keep this ship on deployment for 14 months," said Cockey. "Whether underway, pierside in Kings Bay, Ga., or here in Diego Garcia for repairs, everyone did a great job maintaining the ship and keeping her mission-ready."

McDowell spoke of how he challenged the crew and hoped they would reflect on all that they had accomplished and that it would inspire them to be innovative and always ready to respond to any challenge.

Following McDowell's speech, Christofferson thanked him for his contributions to the ship during his command and expressed his excitement to be returning to the fleet.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to be in command again," said Christofferson. "I am very happy to be returning to the fleet and back in charge of a submarine, commanding Sailors again, instead of in charge of a desk and commanding paperwork."

Christofferson comes to Georgia from the Joint Staff where he served as a strategic planner for the cyber division deputy directorate for strategy and policy.

Georgia, homeported out of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., is deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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