BATH, Maine — Three months after sailing down the Kennebec River for the last time, the Bath-built USS Zumwalt held a change-of-command ceremony in San Diego on Tuesday as Capt. Scott A. Tait relieved Capt. James A. Kirk as commanding officer of the first-in-class DDG 1000.

Kirk spoke of nearly three years spent in Maine with his crew, many of whom “uprooted their families to Maine” as they worked to ready the ship, according to a release from the U.S. Navy.

“Birthdays, babies, lots of babies, graduations came and went,” he said. “Snow storms! … These 147 sailors tamed this beast, completed all crew certification requirements, and sailed down the Kennebec River into open water on the seventh of September.”

As planned, after his nearly three-year command of the Zumwalt, Kirk will report to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., for his next tour of duty.

Tait praised Kirk and the crew, saying, “words cannot express my gratitude, or my admiration, for the ship and crew that Capt. Kirk is turning over.”

Testing, installation and evaluation of systems aboard the USS Zumwalt will now begin, according to the release.