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Stennis has new commanding officer

Capt. Joseph Kuzmick (left) and Capt. Brad Johanson shake hands at the recent USS John C. Stennis change-of-command ceremony.  - Photo courtesy of Kevin Murphy
Capt. Joseph Kuzmick (left) and Capt. Brad Johanson shake hands at the recent USS John C. Stennis change-of-command ceremony.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Kevin Murphy

Capt. Joseph Kuzmick relieved Capt. Bradley Johanson as the commanding officer of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in a change-of-command ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay Sept. 18.

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan, Vice Adm. James D. Kelly, was the guest speaker, welcoming Stennis’ new commanding officer and praising its former commanding officer.

“Capt. Johanson’s legacy on this ship is one of the finest ever,” Kelly said. “He will be replaced by Joe Kuzimick, and I can promise you that there’s no finer person to take Johanson’s place.”

Johanson spoke fondly of his time aboard the Stennis.

“There is no finer ship and more devoted crew that I have ever served with than the John C. Stennis,” Johanson said. “Every one of our accomplishments over the past two-and-half years stems from the dedication of our sailors, chiefs and officers.”

Kuzmick is reporting to the Stennis after completing a successful tour as the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) commanding officer. Kuzmick continues a relationship with the Stennis that started when he served as its executive officer from 2004 to 2006. “I am very honored and absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to return and lead this fantastic ship,” Kuzmick said. “There is clearly an emotional attachment to the ship and I would not have picked any other.”

Johanson commemorated more than 30 years of Naval service with a retirement ceremony at the Puget Sound Navy Museum following the change-of-command ceremony.

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