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    USS Vella Gulf holds change of command

    NORFOLK, VA, UNITED STATES

    11.10.2015

    Courtesy Story

    Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic

    Story by Ensign William P. Critz, USS Vella Gulf Public Affairs

    NORFOLK, Va. – Capt. Mark Oberley relieved Cmdr. Jason Wilson to become the 15th commanding officer of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) during a change of command ceremony held at the BAE Systems Norfolk facility on Nov. 10.

    Wilson commanded Vella Gulf during Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability, while the ship undergoes extensive repairs and upgrades at the BAE Systems Norfolk ship repair facility. Wilson will continue to serve on Vella Gulf as the executive officer, having filled in as acting commanding officer for a brief interim.

    “It has been a privilege leading some of the nation’s smartest and dedicated Sailors,” said Wilson, commending the crew during the change of command ceremony.

    Oberley reported to Vella Gulf after serving as special assistant for Aircraft Carrier Operations on the Staff of the Director of Naval Reactors in Washington.

    Following the time-honored tradition, Oberley read his orders to the assembled crew and, with an exchange of salutes, he assumed command.

    “It is a great honor to have the privilege of commanding Vella Gulf; I would like to thank my family, and former shipmates, for helping me to become the captain that I am today,” said Oberley. “I look forward to working with all of you as we bring Vella Gulf out of the yards. We are warfighters first and, as we become operational again, I encourage all of you to keep a questioning attitude, have the courage to empower yourselves and each other, and treat all Sailors with respect.”

    Vella Gulf was commissioned in 1993 and is one of 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers in active service. The ship became the first Atlantic Fleet ballistic missile defense (BMD) cruiser in 2009 and recently returned from a BMD deployment in 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

    Vella Gulf is currently preparing for its training cycle and next deployment in support of BMD operations.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.10.2015
    Date Posted: 11.12.2015 12:28
    Story ID: 181768
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 

    Web Views: 66
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    USS Vella Gulf holds change of command