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Crane Naval Base Changes Commanders

Capt. Jeffrey "JT" Elder relieved Col. Alan Pratt today in a ceremony on the base.

Col. Alan Pratt

Photo: WTIU News

Col. Alan Pratt is leaving his post at Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center.

A new officer is in command at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center.

Capt. Elder is a part of the Navy, whereas Co. Patt is part of the Marines.

Colonel Alan M. Pratt of the United States Marine Corps handed command duties over to his successor, Captain Jeff “JT” Elder of the United States Navy in a formal ceremony at the Crane base Friday.

The event also served as a retirement party for Col. Pratt, who is retiring to North Carolina with his wife after almost 30 years in the military, he said he’d miss many things about Crane and Indiana.

“The work ethic here, as I tell some other folks, in other places at about 16:30, ‘I’m done for the day, I did my eight hours,’ folks here look at their work at 16:30 and they say ‘did I get done what I needed to get done today?’ If the answer’s no, they’ll stick around a little bit longer,” Pratt said.

Elder said he’s excited for the opportunity to work at Crane, whose reputation he says is well-known across the armed services.

“Having been here maybe two weeks total, and getting the in-briefs and learning the work more in-depth, phenomenal place,” Elder said.  “The navy does not move without Crane onboard some ship, some aircraft, some submarine.”

Pratt was the first marine to head Crane as well as the first marine to head any warfare center.  Elder is also the first aviator to take the helm at Crane.

Crane employs more than 3,000 government employees and more than 1,000 contractors.

Will Healey

Will Healey is a reporter for WFIU/WTIU News. He has studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at Fordham University in New York and Journalism at Indiana University's School of Journalism. He is excited to be part of the team and report on issues that impact the lives of Hoosiers.

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