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Navy Announces New Commander For San Diego-Based USS America

Capt. Michael Baze is pictured in this undated photo.
U.S. Navy
Capt. Michael Baze is pictured in this undated photo.

The first change of command for the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship USS America will take place Thursday, as Capt. Michael Baze replaces Capt. Robert Hall, the Navy announced Monday.

The 844-foot America, commissioned last October, is the first in a new class of aviation-focused amphibious assault ships that are coming into service. They're replacing Tarawa-class amphibious assault ships, which are being decommissioned.

They can carry up to 1,700 Marines and support operations of the tilt- rotor MV-22 Osprey aircraft and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jet, according to the Navy.

Baze, currently the America's executive officer, has served in San Diego-based helicopter squadrons in a variety of command positions and with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C.

Hall was previously the commanding officer of the destroyer USS Porter, and has also held a variety of staff positions.