By Ensign Jordan D. Dix
LCS Crew 108 Public Affairs
With the backdrop of USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) in dry dock, Cmdr. Kenneth Lieberman relieved Cmdr. Kevin Ralston as commanding officer of Littoral Combat Ship Crew 108 during a change of command ceremony at BAE Shipyards in Jacksonville, Fla. On Feb. 17.
"I am honored to have served as LCS Crew 108's first commanding officer," said Ralston. "In nearly 20 years of service, I've yet to serve with a crew that has as much professionalism and toughness - and CREW LEVIATHAN brings it to work every day. This crew is truly remarkable and represents, like all of our service men and women, the very best our country has to offer!"
Ralston assumed command on April 24 2015, and shepherded LCS Crew 108 through many LCS program milestones.
He led CREW LEVIATHAN through its stand up, basic phase training, and commissioning. The crew participated in USS Milwaukee's commissioning and Great Lakes sail around. He also oversaw USS Milwaukee through emergent voyage repairs in Little Creek, Va.
Following her transit to Mayport, USS Milwaukee began preparations for LCS Freedom variant's Full Ship Shock Trials, including a four-month dry dock maintenance availability.
Ralston led the crew through the completion of the Full Ship Shock Trials during the summer of 2016, supporting the future of naval warfare by providing valuable data concerning the survivability of the ship and shipboard systems.
He ensured the safety of USS Milwaukee and her Sailors while validating the first Freedom variant heavy weather moor configuration to withstand hurricane force winds and seas from Hurricane Matthew.
Ralston turned over USS Milwaukee to Mark Haney, commanding officer of LCS Crew 104 on Nov. 4, 2016.
Lieberman is a Whitehall, Pennsylvania native who received his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University. His most recent tours include commanding officer of USS Avenger (MCM 1) and as executive officer of LCS CREW 108 and USS Milwaukee (LCS 5).
"I am excited to take command of this great crew," said Lieberman. "Cmdr. Ralston was an outstanding captain and set a precedent of excellence for this crew moving forward. I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead these Sailors as their commanding officer."
LCS Crew 108 is currently in its Basic Phase and expects to take USS Milwaukee through Combat Systems Ship Qualification testing and Fleet Contractor Trials beginning in June 2017.