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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

USS Oscar Austin Holds Change of Command Ceremony

by Ens. Lauren Grun
07 June 2022

The guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) held its change of command ceremony aboard the ship, June 3, 2022. Cmdr. Bryan Wolfe relieved Cmdr. Matthew Krull during the time-honored ceremony, which was presided over by Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT).

During McLane’s remarks, he emphasized the positive impact Krull had during his USS Oscar Austin tenure.

“Today is a celebration of true triumph for Oscar Austin,” McLane said. “This ship has quite literally risen from the ashes. In 2018, Oscar Austin suffered a devastating fire. I saw the progress made when I visited Oscar Austin for the first time as the Commander, Carrier Strike Group 10, two years ago. Since then, progress has accelerated even more. Today this great ship is back! This ship has returned to sea thanks to the herculean effort of this crew and the leadership of Cmdr. Krull.”

Krull served as the ship’s commanding officer since November 2020 and was responsible for ensuring Oscar Austin upheld the command’s motto, “Honor and Sacrifice” Krull highlighted the hard work and dedication of his sailors and the team that has gotten Oscar Austin back to sea.

“It was incredible to watch what our sailors, what these sailors, can do when they are unleashed and given a mission; better yet when someone tells them something they couldn’t do,” Krull said. “There is nothing this crew cannot do. This is the best crew on the waterfront. Going to sea was the highlight of my career and maybe of my life. I look forward to seeing what this team will do in the future.”

Some of Krull’s more notable accomplishments include bringing Oscar Austin back to sea after an extended modernization and fire recovery period, followed by having an immediately successful Mariner Skills Week (certifying MOB-N and MOB-S). Krull’s next assignment is N43 SURFLANT staff, where he will make the maintenance availabilities across the waterfront more productive.

Wolfe previously served as the executive officer of Oscar Austin from November 2020 to April 2022. Wolfe’s previous assignments include Operations Officer on USS Sterett (DDG 104), Destroyer Squadron 50 staff as Future Operations Officer, OPNAV N96 as Fleet Training Requirements Officer, and Joint Staff as action officer in the Directorate for Strategy, Plans, and Policy in the Transregional Threats Coordination Cell.

During his speech, Wolfe thanked Krull and all those who have gotten Oscar Austin back to sea. He also noted how excited he was to see the ship continue on the path it is on.

“None of this was possible without the vision and leadership that Cmdr. Krull instilled in the ship and crew every day,” Wolfe said. “In my 19 years in the Navy I have not met a better officer. He embodies what a commanding officer should be. He is caring, tenacious, and competent. No matter what barrier Oscar Austin faced, he saw a way to get to success, together and as a team.”

Wolfe is taking command of Oscar Austin as it exits the depot and modernization phase and prepares to enter basic phase.

USS Oscar Austin is a Flight IIA guided-missile destroyer named after Marine Corps Pfc. Oscar P. Austin, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War.  

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