Special to the News-Standard
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — Cmdr. William Ashley relieved Cmdr. Michael G. Tyree as commanding officer of Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Canberra during a ceremony aboard the ship, pier side at Naval Base San Diego, on May 19.
Ashley, a native of Woodlake, was previously the executive officer of Canberra Blue crew.
As the first commanding officer of Canberra, Tyree led the ship’s more than 9,000 nautical mile sail-around from Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Ala., ultimately passing through the Panama Canal to their homeport of San Diego.
Ahead of the ship’s ceremonial commissioning scheduled for this summer, Tyree and his crew excelled in multiple ship and crew certifications, including the ship’s light-off assessment, search and rescue certification, and anti-terrorism certification.
A symbol of the deep partnership between the U.S. and Australia, Canberra is the second U.S. Navy vessel named for Australia’s Capital Territory. It is scheduled to be ceremoniously commissioned in Sydney, Australia, on July 22.
Canberra is one of 15 ships homeported in San Diego as a part of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. Littoral Combat Ships are fast, optimally manned, mission-tailored surface combatants that operate in near-shore and open-ocean environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats.
LCS integrate with joint, combined, manned and unmanned teams to support forward-presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.