Forward deployed, USS Germantown (LSD 42) holds change of command

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory A. Pickett II
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory A. Pickett II

Forward deployed, USS Germantown (LSD 42) holds change of command

by Lt. j.g. Yeltsin Rodriguez
Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet

SASEBO, Japan — Cmdr. Christopher Causee, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), turned over command to Cmdr. Cullen Greenfield during a change of command ceremony onboard Jan. 20.

Due to shipboard COVID-19 prevention measures, the ceremony was held with a small group on the Germantown's 07 level, broadcast to the crew via livestream.

"The Sailors of USS Germantown truly embody what it means to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific," said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7. "Under Commander Chris Causee's superb leadership, Germantown emerged from an extensive maintenance availability and professionally executed three challenging patrols in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. While we will miss Chris's presence on the waterfront, I am looking forward to working with the new commanding officer, Cmdr. Cullen Greenfield, who has absolutely excelled as the ship's executive officer over the past sixteen months."

Under Causee’s leadership, the Germantown set sail on three forward-deployed patrols after being in an extensive dry-dock for maintenance. Germantown’s forward-deployment to Sasebo, Japan, facilitated its involvement in Valiant Shield, two certification exercises as part of the USS America (LHA 6) Expeditionary Strike Group, multiple Noble Fury exercises as well as bilateral engagements with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Philippine Navy through exercises KAMANDAG-3 and Sama Sama, and the Indian Navy through a historic Tiger Triumph.

“Germantown and her crew have accomplished so much under Chris’s exemplary leadership,” said Capt. Rich LeBron, commodore of Amphibious Squadron 11. “Time and again he has flawlessly executed 7th Fleet’s ongoing mission, operating with our Marine compatriots alongside our regional allies and partners to protect and preserve our shared values and way of life. Cullen Greenfield has been right there beside him for well over a year, and I know he will carry on the outstanding legacy of twenty-five COs before him.”

The Germantown completed two extended periods of uninterrupted operations during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Squadron 11, taking on one of the largest U.S. Marine personnel and equipment loadouts for a ship of its class, and operating across the Indo-Pacific.

"Germatown has become a workhorse for amphibious operations in 7th Fleet. The dedication, professionalism and confidence that this incredibly impressive crew displays day in and day out as they play hard in the Indo-Pacific has been the highest honor to be a part of,” said Causee. “I could not be more proud of what this ship and her crew has accomplished and the self-sufficiency that has become a part of her culture over the past 24 months. The support of the maintenance team, our families and friends have been the enabling factor for our continued success and I look forward to watching from afar all of the continued success as you all continue to play hard in the Indo-Pacific. "

Greenfield, who assumed command as part of the Navy surface force’s “fleet-up” model, served as the ship’s executive officer for16 months.

"I am truly humbled to accept responsibility for Germantown's legacy from Commander Causee's exceptionally capable hands”, said Greenfield. “I am honored and beyond thankful for the opportunity to lead this team of dedicated professionals. I look forward to facing the challenges ahead, and continuing our tradition of success with this phenomenal crew and the amazing family and friends that support us every single day."

Greenfield, Germantown’s 26th commanding officer, graduated from North Carolina State University and commissioned through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps in 2003. His sea tours include USS Dubuque (LPD 8); Patrol Coastal Crew Charlie onboard USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USS Whirlwind (PC 11), and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12); USS Tortuga (LSD 46); and USS Ashland (LSD 48). At sea, he deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Damayan, and completed numerous theater engagement exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Causee’s next assignment will be in the Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC), Washington, D.C.

Germantown, assigned to the America Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners, and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

Photo Caption:
SASEBO, Japan (January 20, 2021) CDR Christopher M. Causee salutes the side boys at the beginning of a change of command ceremony aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42). Causee is relieved by Cullen M. Greenfield as commanding officer of Germantown. Germantown, part of Expeditionary Strike Group 7, along with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

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