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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — In a ceremony aboard the USS Essex, Capt. Rich Landolt relieved Capt. Andy Karakos last week as commander, Amphibious Squadron Eleven.

The command’s 10 officers and 21 enlisted sailors act as a liaison between the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit from Okinawa and Sasebo’s Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and all embarked supporting units.

The Essex ARG is comprised of the USS Essex, USS Fort McHenry, USS Juneau and USS Harpers Ferry.

“The close working relationship, teamwork and genuine friendship between the 31st MEU and PHIBRON 11 staff is remarkable,” Karakos said. “It is said that you’re known by the company you keep and today I’m proud to say I’ve served in the company of the 31st MEU Marines.”

Karakos will continue his service as director, Office of Plans and Policy for the chief of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C.

Landolt is no stranger to Sasebo. The Fort McHenry skipper from 1998-2000, he returns after serving on the chief of Naval Operations staff at the Pentagon.

“It is an honor and a pleasure to return to Sasebo and have the opportunity of a lifetime to command our nation’s finest amphibious squadron,” Landolt said.


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