Capt. Wyatt Chidester relieved Capt. Dan Uhls as commanding officer of USS HuÃ© City during a change of command ceremony held aboard the ship on Feb. 28.
Guest speaker for the event was Rear Adm. Michael Gilday, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight.
A native of Franklin, KY, Uhls graduated from Ole Miss in 1988 with a degree in history and was commissioned via the NROTC program.
His assignments at sea include Damage Control Assistant and Machinery Officer in CG-26 Belknap (the SIXTHFLT Flagship, home-ported in Gaeta Italy), Air Defense Officer in CG-71 Capt St. George, Operations Officer and Chief Engineer in DDG-58 LABOON, Executive Officer in FFG-59 Kauffman, Chief Staff Officer to Commander, Destroyer Squadron SIX/FORTY, Commanding Officer in PC-11 Whirlwind and DDG-57 MITSCHER earning Battle Effectiveness Awards on both ships. Captain Uhls served as Air and Missile Defense Commander to Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group (2008-2009) and Commander Carrier Strike Group EIGHT/IKESTRKGRU. He has deployed to Central, European, and Southern Command Areas of Operations 12 times.
Ashore, he served as Reserve Component community Manager at the Bureau of Naval Personnel and as the head of Full Time Support Assignments in Navy Personnel command.
Uhls holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies with an emphasis in Asian Security Policy from the Army Command and General Staff College where he graduated highest distinction. Additionally, he holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College where he graduated with highest distinction.
Chidester is a native of Iowa and entered the Navy in July 1979, promoted to Chief Operations Specialist in 1987, commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer in 1991, and converted to Unrestricted Line in 1996.
From December of 1979 to December 1990, Chidester served in Naval Air Station Fallon, NV, destroyer Leftwich (DD 984), carrier Enterprise (CVN 65), Tactical Training Group Pacific, and on the staff of Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group, Three. Following his LDO commission, he served consecutive CIC Officer tours in USS Gridley (CG 21) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) completing two Middle East Force deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch and as the Assistant Surface Operations and Theater Missile Defense Officer on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, in London, England.
Chidester then served consecutive Operations Officer tours in USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS Gettysburg (CG 64) completing two deployments in support of USS John F. Kennedy and USS Enterprise Battle Group operations in the Sixth Fleet Area of Responsibility. He then moved on to United States Southern Command, Miami, Florida where he served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Operations.
His next assignment was Executive Officer in USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) completing one deployment to the Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility supporting Commander, Joint Task Force 150 operations and the Global War on Terror.
From December 2005 to January 2008, he served as the Assistant Surface Warfare Captain Detailer (PERS 41A), Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tennessee before moving on to command the Arleigh Burke Guided Missile Destroyer, USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
Following his command tour, Captain Chidester served as Director, Maritime Warfighting and Department Head Training (N73) and Director, Command-at-Sea Training (N75), Surface Warfare Officer's School, Newport, Rhode Island.