In a ceremony aboard the Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday, Rear Adm. Steve T. Koehler took over command of Carrier Strike Group Nine from Rear Adm. James S. Bynum.
CSG-9 includes the Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier known as the “Big Stick,” Carrier Air Wing 17 and several smaller ships including the USS Bunker Hill, USS Cape St. George and USS Zumwalt.
“The ships that are part of this strike group and the air wing exist to be manned by highly skilled and empowered sailors that can take the fight to the enemy and win,” Koehler said during Thursday’s ceremony. “Everything we must do must be in pursuit of combat readiness. Our upcoming deployment will call on Strike Group 9 and all of its capabilities and we must never lose sight of that.”
Bynum, who commanded CSG-9 since last June, was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service.
“When I arrived I asked you to embrace opportunity, to take ownership and run it to make it better,” Bynum told the officers and sailors gathered Thursday on the Theodore Roosevelt. “The results speak for themselves. You were early to every milestone. You took every opportunity to practice your skills, to learn the new tactics, to innovate, to lead your team and to challenge them.”
Vice Adm. Nora W. Tyson, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, presided over the change-of-command ceremony.
“I know that Adm. Bynum is up for any challenge,” Tyson said. “You have always gone above and beyond for me, for your team and the Navy, so thank you.”
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is expected to deploy late this year.
–City News Service
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