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ST. LOUIS – A 1999 Parkway West High School graduate is now the commanding officer of USS Oakland (LCS 24) Blue Crew.

Cmdr. Derek C. Jaskowiak officially took over during a change of command ceremony on December 3.

The USS Oakland is an Independence-variant littoral combat ship. It is designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. It is also capable of “supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

The Navy Office of Community Outreach said the new command means Jaskowiak has “absolute authority and responsibility to ensure the safe handling of Oakland and the safety, well-being and proficiency of the crew.”

Prior to serving as the commanding officer, Jaskowiak served as Oakland Blue Crew’s executive officer.

Jaskowiak graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering. While attending school, he was the starting left tackle on the football team. He earned a Master’s of Science degree in Systems Technology from the Naval Post Graduate School in 2004.