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NEWS | April 22, 2022

Change of Command for Strike Group Oceanography San Diego

By LTJG Emma Perry

SAN DIEGO -- Cmdr. Kimberly Freitas was relieved by Cmdr. James Scianna as Commander, Strike Group Oceanography Team San Diego (SGOT-SD), in a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI), Apr. 22.
The Change of Command ceremony is not prescribed specifically by U.S. Navy Regulations, but rather is a time-honored naval tradition.
Family and friends, both civilian and military, came together to bid fair winds and following seas to Cmdr. Freitas, the very first Commanding Officer at SGOT-SD with two years in command, and to welcome Cmdr. Scianna as the new Commander.
The ceremony’s guest speaker, Capt. Kathryn Hermsdorfer, Commander, Fleet Weather Center San Diego (FWC-SD), discussed the impressive work and dedication that Cmdr. Freitas and her team at SGOT-SD put into standing the command up over the past two years. She stated the importance of the team continuing to hone their warfighting skills and shared her faith in Cmdr. Scianna to take charge as the new leader of SGOT-SD.
Cmdr. Freitas, a native of Virginia and graduate of Pennsylvania State University, transferred into the Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) community in 2002 and assumed command of SGOT-SD in July 2020.
“We have grown and learned from each of these challenges, and perhaps our greatest growth was in learning to look for the opportunity in each challenge and to lean on those in our command family to help us through the personal challenges. I look back over the past nearly two years with pride and gratitude. I am so fortunate, and honored beyond words, to be in this position as the first Commanding Officer of SGOT San Diego,” said Cmdr. Kimberly Freitas.
Cmdr. Freitas expressed her appreciation and pride to the Sailors, Wardroom, Chief’s Mess, and Civilians at SGOT-SD for the accomplishments they achieved and the challenges they overcame while under her charge. She will be traveling to Stennis, MS, next to become the Executive Officer at Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO).
Cmdr. Scianna, a native of Connecticut and also a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, shared his enthusiasm on assuming command and his readiness to lead the team into the future. He joins SGOT-SD after wrapping up his tour at Joint Chiefs of Staff, J35, where he served as a writer for the Secretary of Defense Orders Book.
“SGOT-SD is the premier sea-going METOC command, delivering crucial environmental information to forces at sea in support of the combatant commands defending the United States and deterring against our great power adversaries. Without a doubt, the mission supported by SGOT-SD is of the utmost strategic importance. We are a key enabler that allows the Navy to preserve freedom, prevent great powers and adversaries from controlling the seas, and protect the sea lines of communications,” said Cmdr. Scianna.
A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commander to another. It is designed to publicize to the officers, men and women of the command the absolute transfer of authority. The passing of colors, standards, or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its service members and civilians are never without official leadership.
SGOT-SD’s mission is to generate and deploy multi-spectrum METOC teams to Navy, Joint and Coalition Forces operating in the 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility. SGOT-SD delivers crucial METOC capabilities to forces at sea, based on capability generation ashore, to integrate within Information Warfare forces, in order to achieve our Nation’s military objectives.
U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command directs and oversees more than 2,500 globally-distributed military and civilian personnel who collect, process and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to make better decisions, based on assured environmental information, faster than the adversary.
For more news from SGOT-SD, go to or follow the command’s Facebook page (
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Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command | 1100 Balch Blvd. | Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 39529