New commander for Naval Undersea Warfare Center

KEYPORT — Capt. David K. Kohnke relieves Capt. Stephen E. Iwanowicz as commander of Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport, at a ceremony Friday at the Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport.

The Change of Command ceremony begins at 11 a.m. with a retirement ceremony for Iwanowicz following the change of command and reception.

Kohnke reports to NUWC Keyport from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, where he served as engineering and planning officer.

A native of Indiana, Kohnke enlisted in the Navy in 1980. After completing nuclear training, he served as an instructor at the S1W Prototype in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and aboard USS Bremerton (SSN 698).

He was selected for a four-year NROTC scholarship and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona in 1986 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.  He was commissioned through the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1990. After completing training at Nuclear Power School, he reported to USS Ohio (SSBN 726) at Bangor.

Kohnke went on to earn a master of science in electrical engineering from Arizona State University in 1997.

Kohnke has also served at Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn.; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility; the Acoustic Research Detachment in Bayview, Idaho; and Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bangor, where he served as repair officer leading 950 personnel in the accomplishment of intermediate-level maintenance for the Pacific TRIDENT Submarine Fleet.

Additionally, Kohnke was the combat systems officer aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) from October 2009 through June 2011, homeported in Bremerton, where he led 200 personnel in the maintenance and operation of all ship’s self-defense, radar tracking, shipboard classified and unclassified information, navigation, communication, and intelligence/IFF systems.

Kohnke’s decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards).

Iwanowicz assumed command of NUWC Keyport in September 2008. Under his command, NUWC Keyport earned numerous energy awards, including the prestigious Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management as well as the Personal Excellence Partnership Award, Undersecretary of Defense Value Engineering Achievement Award, and Undersecretary of Defense Workforce Development Award, according to the public affairs office.

A native of Pittsfield, Mass., Iwanowicz received his Navy commission in 1983 after earning bachelor of science degrees in biochemistry and chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He attended graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned master of science degrees in mechanical engineering and naval engineering.

His naval career spanned nearly 30 years, during which time he earned the Gold Dolphin warfare insignia, five Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal, and three Navy Achievement Medals. Iwanowicz is also authorized to wear the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. NUWC Keyport operates the Navy’s research, development, testing, engineering and fleet support center for submarines and undersea warfare systems.


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