Sealift Logistics Command Pacific, the San Diego-based U.S. Navy command responsible for operational control of Military Sealift Command ships in the Eastern Pacific, changed command during a ceremony on board fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe at Naval Station San Diego.
SEALOGPAC outgoing commander, Capt. David L. Kiehl, was relieved by Capt. Jerome Hamel during the ceremony.
Since assuming command of SEALOGPAC in 2007, Kiehl has overseen a wide range of operations and exercises within the command's area of responsibility, including the deployment of hospital ship USNS Mercy in support of the 2008 Pacific Partnership humanitarian mission, a 2008 Joint Logistics Over the Shore exercise and the 2008 Rim of the Pacific exercise.
Kiehl will report to Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven as chief of staff, embarked aboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in San Diego.
Rear Adm. Robert Wray, deputy commander, Military Sealift Command served as guest speaker for the change of command ceremony and presented Kiehl with the Legion of Merit for his outstanding performance as commander of SEALOGPAC.
Hamel comes to SEALOGPAC after a tour of duty in Washington, D.C., where he served on the Chief of Naval Operations' staff as the operations augmentation branch head. A native of Methuen, Mass., Hamel received his commission in 1985 through the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. His Navy career includes sea tours on board frigates USS Oliver Hazard Perry and USS Badger, amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry, and as commanding officer on board guided missile destroyer USS Spruance. In addition to his sea tours, Hamel has served ashore at the Naval Reserve Center Quincy, Mass.; Naval Reserve Center Bangor, Wash.; the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D.C.; and on the Chief of Naval Operations staff in the surface warfare directorate, Washington, D.C.
Hamel holds a Bachelor of Science in marine transportation from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and a Master of Science in financial management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
SEALOGPAC is one of five worldwide operational commands that are part of the Navy's Military Sealift Command, headquartered in Washington, D.C. MSC operates approximately 110 non-combatant, merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.