The U.S. Mission in Nigeria has hailed Nigerian-American Kelechi Ndukwe for his trail-blazing appointment as the first Nigerian commander of a U.S. Navy Ship.
Ndukwe assumed command of U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer, USS HALSEY (DDG-97) on 2 April.
‘Congratulations Ndukwe”, the mission tweeted on Thursday.
According to a bio published Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), Ndukwe, as a Surface Warfare Officer, had served on multiple warships with extensive deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, Horn of Africa, Arabian Gulf and Western Pacific Ocean.
During his most recent sea assignment, he served as the Commanding Officer of USS DEVASTATOR (MCM 6), a minesweeper based in Bahrain.
Ashore, Kelechi served in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, representing the Navy on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Liaison.
Prior to joining the Joint Staff, he was the Deputy Executive Assistant to the Director for Surface Warfare on the Navy Staff.
Kelechi graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and earned a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategy from the U.S. Naval War College
He had also received Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation and achievement Medals.
Ndukwe, as a Nigerian, hails from Okoko-Item in Bende LGA of Abia state.
His peerless achievement has also earned plaudits from Abia governor Ikpeazu Okezie.
Writing on his Twitter page, Ikpeazu said he was proud of Ndukwe’s achievement.
He wrote, “I join millions of Nigerians worldwide in celebrating Abia-born Nigerian-American Commander Kelechi Ndukwe who today assumed command of a US Navy Guided Missile Destroyer, USS Halsey (DDG-97) becoming the first Abian, Nigerian & Nigerian-American to attain such a height in the history of US Navy
“Commander Ndukwe who hails from Okoko-Item in Bende LGA of our great State joins thousands of other Abians who by their exploits & achievements are making us proud globally”.