INDIAN HEAD, Md. — Capt. Eric C. Correll relieved Capt. Scott H. Kraft as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) during a change of command ceremony at the College of Southern Maryland’s Velocity Center in Indian Head, Maryland, Dec. 16.
“I greatly look forward to standing in the phalanx alongside you, in accomplishment of our mission in support of our great Navy,” said Correll after relieving Kraft. “For more than 130 years, this command has ensured the Navy is ready, at a moment’s notice, to conduct prompt and sustained combat, helping win the fight and ultimately save lives.”
Correll, a native of Greenville, South Carolina, received a commission from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps after earning a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Duke University. He conducted multiple tours after training in Navy diving/salvage and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), including aboard USS Safeguard (ARS 50) at sea and leading EOD detachments and task units at sea and ashore in U.S. 5th Fleet, U.S. 6th Fleet and U.S. 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
Correll led all Navy Expeditionary Combat Forces in 7th Fleet as Commander, Task Force 75, commanded EOD Training and Evaluation Unit 1 in San Diego and served as executive officer of EOD Mobile Unit 5 in Guam. Operational staff deployments include Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve forward in Iraq, U.S. 7th Fleet, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Carrier Strike Group and USS Wasp (LHD 1) Amphibious Ready Group. Joint assignments include the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization and executive assistant to the Director, Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell.
“My grandpa used to say that we order our lives not by what we see, but what we believe” said Kraft. “I believe we are a remarkable organization of extraordinary professionals entrusted with a vital mission, embarked on unprecedented times of responsibility and opportunity. I believe our challenges are numerous and significant, many unforeseen; yet, we are undaunted and together we will succeed. We have a destiny as storied as our legacy and we are stronger together.”
Kraft reported as commanding officer in Dec. 2016 and led his workforce to accomplish the command’s mission to provide energetic materials and systems research, development, test and evaluation; manufacturing; and systems integration. As commanding officer and deputy executive manager for EOD technology, he championed strategic initiatives to expand the technical mission in support of national security objectives and enhanced the warfighting capabilities, effectiveness and safety of Joint EOD warfighters.
Following the change of command, Kraft’s next assignment is at the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.