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The USS Harpers Ferry and the USS Germantown swapped commanding officers and crew during an exchange of command ceremony Thursday at Sasebo Naval Base in Japan, according to a U.S. Navy 7th Fleet news release.

The Harpers Ferry, which was forward-deployed to Sasebo, will return to San Diego and begin rotation assignments with 3rd Fleet under the command of Cmdr. Mike Crary.

Cmdr. Antonio Hull and his crew on the Germantown, who are experienced with operating around Japan and the Western Pacific, will remain in Sasebo with the newly upgraded Germantown to support the 7th Fleet.

Such hull swaps are part of Surface Forces Pacific’s plan to update forward-deployed Navy ships in Japan.

The Germantown is the third landing dock ship in Japan to complete the planned mid-life maintenance, which included upgrading the diesel engines, engineering control systems, compressed air systems and all electric steam systems.

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