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New commander at naval center

– A land-locked naval installation that’s one of southern Indiana’s biggest employers is getting new leadership.

Capt. Jeffrey Elder will take over command of the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center during a ceremony Friday.

He’ll replace Col. Alan Pratt, who’s retiring from the military after 30 years of service.

Pratt is the only Marine to have ever served as Crane’s commander.

The Washington Times-Herald reported that Crane has about 3,000 civilian employees and is one of southern Indiana’s largest employers, pumping more than $2 million a day into the area economy.

The base about 25 miles southwest of Bloomington covers about 100 square miles, making it one of the largest naval installations in the world.

It’s considered southern Indiana’s third-largest employer.

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