By USS Bataan (LHD 5) Public Affairs
Capt. Bryan K. Carmichael relieved Capt. Gregory J. Leland as commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) Tuesday, June 16, during a change of command ceremony in the Mediterranean Sea.
With the Sailors and Marines embarked on Bataan in attendance, Leland passed command to Carmichael in a brief exchange on the ship’s flight deck. Carmichael became Bataan’s 17th commanding officer since the ship’s commissioning in September 1997.
“It’s an honor to be able to take command of this fine warship and her crew,” said Carmichael. “I look forward to the journey ahead and continuing the legacy of USS Bataan. I am proud to command this great crew, and I would like to thank the officers and enlisted Sailors who remain committed to our traditions of excellence.”
Carmichael enlisted in the Navy in July 1985 and was commissioned in May 1997 after earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Carmichael thanked Leland for the leadership, guidance and friendship he provided during Carmichael’s term as executive officer.
“The accomplishments of Big 5 under the command of Capt. Leland are unprecedented,” he said. “He has greatly contributed to the unparalleled success of the ship, and readied the crew for any obstacle we might face.”
In Leland’s final address he pointed out the special place Bataan will hold in his career.
“I am thankful for the amazing opportunity to have commanded the finest ship in the fleet,” said Leland. “It has been my great honor to have led this extremely talented group of people. To the crew of Big 5, you embody what it truly means to be Bataan Tough, and I am so very proud of all we have done. Bataan will forever hold a special place in my heart, thank you.”
Bataan is the flagship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), is operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) area of operations after approximately five months deployed to the U.S.5th Fleet area of operations, including the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.
The Bataan ARG/MEU will conduct routine maritime operations in C6F, working alongside partners and allies to ensure security and stability in the European and African theaters.
In addition to Bataan, the Bataan ARG also includes the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21).