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    USS Mesa Verde Holds Change of Command

    The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) held a change of command ceremony in the ship's well-deck, Nov. 7.

    Capt. Fred Goldhammer was relieved by Capt. Gavin Duff as the commanding officer of Mesa Verde in a ceremony attended by several distinguished visitors, guests and crew.

    “I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished. As I walk around the ship and see the experienced veterans who are left aboard work hand in hand to train our relatively junior but extremely eager

    Sailors, I know we’re going to be ok,” said Goldhammer. “When I watch junior Sailors capitalize on opportunities to step up beyond their paygrade and years of experience and lead, it not only warms my heart, but it helps to reassure me that we’re not only going to be ok, but that we’ve built the

    foundation for a team where winning, and not just surviving, is our cultural norm.”

    Goldhammer assumed command of Mesa Verde Aug. 30, 2018 and successfully led the “Ghost Gator” through a continuing docking phased planned maintenance availability (DPMA).

    “Earlier during our time in the yards, there were more people who were going to be leaving than there were people who were going to be around when it mattered,” he said. “We’ve come a long way, we’ve dramatically improved our culture and things are on the upswing. We’ve sent over 200 Sailors to graduate from over 750 schools and 200 underway with other ships so they can be prepared. We’ve pulled together and I appreciate the special trust and confidence that everyone put in me to let me be part of the team.”

    During his remarks, Capt. Duff charged the crew with continuing the tradition of the ship and getting her back into operational status.

    “Invest in one another while building a team committed to the pursuit of excellence,” said Duff. “Trust is integral to every single job and watch station on this ship. It’s the element that makes us superior to every other military force in the world and it is how we win.”

    Duff, a native of New Jersey, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Naval Architecture and was designated a Naval aviator in 1998. He holds a master’s degree in Engineering management.

    Duff’s aviation tours include assignments with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 82, VFA 115, and Air Test and Evaluation squadron (VX) 23.

    Additionally, he served as the executive officer of VFA 122 and USS George W. Bush (CVN 77), and as the commanding officer of VFA 14.



    Date Taken: 11.07.2019
    Date Posted: 11.08.2019 09:21
    Story ID: 351075
    Location: US

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