By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
EVERETT — Naval Station Everett has a new commander.
Navy Capt. James Duke Jr. of Lake Stevens relieved Capt. Michael Coury in a change of command ceremony Tuesday at the naval base. Coury reports to his new assignment as the chief of staff for Commander Carrier Strike Group 11, the USS Nimitz carrier strike group.
Before assuming command, Duke was special assistant for Navy aircraft carrier naval reactors operations. During his Navy career, Duke commanded the USS O’Kane and served as reactor officer aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. He is a 1987 Naval Academy graduate. Duke earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering. He completed his education at the Naval War College and Joint Forces Staff College.
Duke starts his command at Everett with the challenge of a summer marked by employee furloughs. Because of federal budget sequestration, 117 federal civilian employees at Naval Station Everett are scheduled to take 11 unpaid furlough days each before Sept. 27. Snohomish County’s second largest employer, the Everett base is home to six ships and two Coast Guard vessels.
Meanwhile, at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Electronic Attack Squadron 140, the “Patriots,” and their technical support personnel arrived home Monday and Tuesday following a five-month combat deployment aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. The squadron of 200 now transitions from their Prowler jets to the new EA-18G Growler.