Cmdr. Steve Murray assumed command of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division from Capt. Eric Ver Hage during a change of command ceremony held Friday, Aug. 1.
Rear Adm. Lawrence F. Creevy, commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command Naval Surface Warfare Center, served as the presiding officer and keynote speaker at the ceremony.
Creevy presented Ver Hage with the Legion of Merit, praising his significant accomplishments during nearly three years in command, citing strengthened ties across the Navy, expanded community outreach and enhanced partnering with regional business and academia, such as the Navy's award-winning, first patent cross-licensing agreement.
In his remarks, Ver Hage celebrated his co-leader, Dr. Bill Luebke, NSWC Corona technical director, and thanked community leaders and the workforce for their support during his tour.
"What an extraordinary opportunity to learn, serve and lead this assignment has been," said Ver Hage "This is a high performance workforce . the best scientists, engineers and technicians in the world. I have, and our nation has, asked so much of you, and you continue to hit it out of the park and achieve success in endeavor after endeavor."
Ver Hage heads to another assignment at NAVSEA as the Director of Test and Evaluation for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile System program, a 10-nation, international cooperative development effort.
Murray, who will be promoted to the rank of captain on Sept. 1, is a Naval War College graduate and holds two master's degrees. He has his Bachelor of Science from Charter Oak State College in New Britain, Connecticut, and has logged more than 14 years at sea.
Prior to taking command, Murray served as Deputy Major Program Manager for the Ship Self Defense System program in the Program Executive Office of Integrated Warfare Systems.
"My commitment to [Ver Hage] and to this outstanding workforce is to carry on the great work you have done here," said Murray. "I look forward to supporting you in all you do, ensure that you have what you need to keep our Navy strong and to learn from you every day. You are doing amazing and critical work for our national security."
NSWC Corona serves as the Navy's independent assessment and analysis agent, the Navy and Marine Corps' littoral, surface and aviation range systems engineering agent and the Navy and Marine Corp's technical agent for measurement science and calibration.