Since 2012, David Schnell has served as the general manager of Los Angeles express lanes for the Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group in Los Angeles, California. He is also a retired naval Captain who served as executive and commanding officer of several U.S. Navy warships over the course of his 27-year military career. One of the warships under Captain David Schnell’s command was the USS Peleliu.
Categorized in the United States Navy’s Tarawa class, the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu first launched in 1978 under the name “Da Nang ,” but it ultimately took the name Peleliu in honor of the Third Amphibious Force’s capture of the eponymous Palau island. Members of the military also know the USS Peleliu by its nickname the “Iron Nickel.”
Over the course of its service, the USS Peleliu deployed 17 times into battle and conducted more than 178,000 aircraft movements. All told, the ship traveled nearly 1,012,000 nautical miles.
The Navy decommissioned the USS Peleliu in 2015. It was welcomed into retirement by 10 former commanding officers, as well as hundreds of past and present crew members.
Retired U.S. Navy Captain David Schnell, a decorated officer with more than 25 years of experience, now helps people in need of food as executive director of Christ Kitchen, a San Diego-based nonprofit. Over his tenure in military service, Captain David Schnell commanded a number of ships, including the U.S.S. Ford, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class vessel.
A type of ship designed to combat enemy submarines, the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate (FFG) also includes anti-aircraft weaponry that permits it to attack enemies both above and below. The Navy envisioned this class to function as an escort craft for key assets like carrier battle groups as they moved across open water on their missions.
Though Oliver Hazard Perry-class ships in the Navy have all been decommissioned, many foreign-owned-and-built versions of these ships are still in active service. For example, two presently serve the Australians under the names H.M.A.S. Melbourne and H.M.A.S. Newcastle.
A decorated United States Navy officer, Captain David Schnell assumed command of the USS Peleliu (LHA 5) on September 4, 2009, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Tarawa-class amphibious assault vessel. The ship’s 19th commanding officer and its first surface warfare officer, Captain David Schnell was serving as the Peleliu’s commanding officer during the 2010 floods that affected a full one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area.
During the crew’s 18-month mission to embark, deploy, and land U.S. Marine Corps troops in support of U.S. military action abroad, it was called upon by the government of Pakistan to assist in aid relief to the country’s flooded Arabian Sea coast. The crew delivered goods and emergency supplies to the towns and villages in need with the assistance of Pakistan’s government and military. In total, the U.S. military helped rescue more than 3,000 people and moved nearly 150,000 kilograms of supplies into the country.
Having been honorably discharged after 27 years in the US Navy, Captain David Schnell is currently general manager of Americas Commercial & State Transportation Group’s Los Angeles Express Lanes. Also interested in charity and helping others, Captain David Schnell serves as executive director of Christ Kitchen, a nonprofit organization devoted to feeding those in need in the greater San Diego area.
In 2015, homelessness in San Diego County rose by 2.8 percent from the previous year, and by 26 percent in downtown San Diego alone. Downtown homeless shelters saw a 123 percent rise in people without homes seeking shelter and services. San Diego has become the US city with the fourth largest population of people without homes.
The reason for the rise is unclear. While it is possible that there were simply errors in data gathering, increasing housing prices have been cited as a major reason for forcing people out of homes. Over 60 percent of individuals without homes are from outside San Diego County. Authorities are seeking greater federal funding to keep up with the influx.