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Nimitz, Kennedy Welcome New Commanding Officers

May 17, 2019

Captain Michael Hannan assumed command of the Nimitz Operational Intelligence Center on May 17, relieving Capt. Sean Kelley, who served as the Nimitz commanding officer for the last two years. The ceremony was one of two command changes in May that welcomed new commanding officers to two of ONI’s Centers of Excellence.

On May 21, Capt. Andrew Charles relieved Capt. Neil Smith as the commanding officer of the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center.

Hannan reported to Nimitz from OPNAV N2/N6. During the ceremony, he said he is excited and humbled by the privilege of serving alongside the men and women of Nimitz as their commanding officer.

“We are living in a demanding time for Naval Intelligence as we currently face the greatest challenge for our Navy since the end of the Cold War,” Hannan said. “Nimitz, you are the crown jewel of Naval Intelligence. Your efforts are the cornerstone of success for our Nation. This is where I want to be—with you right here and right now.”

Hannan’s prior tours include serving as Air Intelligence Officer for Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, as the Targeting Officer for Carrier Air Wing 11, and as Senior Intelligence Officer onboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), completing a combat deployment in support of U.S. and coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.

Additional assignments include Senior Watch Officer and division chief during previous tours at ONI; targeting officer on the staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet in Manama, Bahrain; and Director of Information Warfare and Chief Information Officer for the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center at Naval Air Station Fallon, NV.

Charles, also reporting from OPNAV as the director of the Navy’s Tactical Exploitation and National Capabilities team, expressed a similar sentiment. “I am extremely excited to be joining the team at such an interesting point in history,” he said.

Charles began his Naval Intelligence career with the Bulls of Strike Fighter Squadron 37 in Cecil Field, FL, deploying aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

Other career highlights include tours with NAVCENT/Fifth Fleet in Manama, Bahrain; Warfare Analysis Center, Dahlgren, VA; Pacific Fleet Headquarters, Pearl Harbor, HI; and USS Bataan (LHD 5) where, among other operations, he participated in the rescue and recovery phases for New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina; and at DIA’s Joint Intelligence Task Force - Combatting Terrorism, where he led the Defense Department’s national terrorist watch mission.