CRANE — One of southern Indiana's largest employers will be getting a new boss next week. Leadership of the Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center will be formally and traditionally transferred during a change of command ceremony June 27, at 10 a.m. Cap. Jeffrey T. Elder, United States Navy, will accept the leadership of the NSWC Crane Command from Col. Alan M. Pratt, United States Marine Corps.
Col. Pratt will be retiring from the Marine Corps after 30 years of service. He is the only Marine to ever serve as the commander at Crane. He took command October 6, 2011 after serving as Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity at Camp Pendleton, California.
NWSC Crane is the largest tenant command located on Naval Support Activity Crane with approximately 3,000 civilian employees. Crane is one of the largest employers in southern Indiana putting over $2 million a day into the Indiana economy. NWSC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command with focus areas in special missions, strategic missions and electronic warfare.
Rear Adm. Lawrence Creevy, Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center, and Indiana District 8 Congressman Larry Bucshon will be the guest speakers for the ceremony. Other guests expected to attend are District 63 State Representative Mark Messmer, District 49 State Senator Jim Tomes and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.
Captain Elder is a native of St. Louis and received his commission in August of 1989. He holds Master of Science degrees in Astronautical Engineering and Applied Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School.
His most recent posting has been as Military Director in AIR-4.2, the Cost Analysis Department within NAVAIR 4.0 Research & Engineering competency. His fleet tours included deployments with the Sea Griffins of HS-9, the Wyverns of HS-12 and Dusty Dogs of HS-7. He also served as Air Boss on the USS Trenton.
Elder is married and is the father of two sons and two daughters.