PHILIPPINE SEA -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) held a change of command ceremony, Sept. 17, while operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
Capt. Russell Caldwell relieved Capt. Jim L. Storm as the Commanding Officer aboard Antietam. Storm assumed command of Antietam in August 2019 and will return to San Diego to serve as the Deputy Commander of Naval Surface Mine Warfare Development Center.
“The enemy will never have the crew that stands here today,” said Caldwell. “This is our true advantage and this will be the deciding factor in a fight. Antietam was commissioned in 1987, but it was the crew that brought her to life and that has not changed. You remain the heart and soul of the ship and we must be ready”.
Caldwell served onboard USS Thatch (FFG 43), USS Gary (FFG 51), and USS Cowpens (CG 63) while forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and most recently served as Commanding Officer aboard USS Ross (DDG 71) forward-deployed to Rota, Spain.
USS Antietam, third in its name, on this day also commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history. The result of the battle allowed President Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Presently, the ship is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Antietam is assigned to Commander Task Force 70.