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    USS John P. Murtha Holds Change of Command Ceremony



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Curtis Spencer 

    USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26)

    SAN DIEGO (July 10, 2020) Capt. Gervy J. Alota assumed command of San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) from Capt. Kevin A. Lane during a change of command ceremony July 10.

    Alota’s most recent assignments were Deputy Director for Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Sea Combat Division and Deputy Executive Assistant for the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

    Lane’s tour aboard lasted from February 2015 to July 2020. He began his tour as executive officer before ascending to commanding officer in April 2019. He guided the ship through the pre-commissioning process, her first deployment which yielded a Battle Efficiency award. He was also instrumental in John P.Murtha’s participation in Rim of the Pacific 2018 Exercise, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Orion Program Underway Recovery Testing twice and the ship’s first basic and integrated phase training cycle.

    “It's been an honor to serve as commanding officer” Lane said. “I am so proud of the crew for all they’ve done to make and keep John P. Murtha a great ship over the last 30 months. They represent the best of America, and you should all be proud.”

    Captain Tony Rodriguez, Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five, presided over the ceremony, and presented Lane the Legion of Merit for his performance as John P. Murtha commanding officer.

    “Capt. Lane did a great job, his award says it all. We are extremely proud of the things he accomplished during his time as commanding officer.”

    Alota said he is as excited to take over the role of commanding officer as he is for the ship’s future.

    “I am absolutely humbled and blessed to have this opportunity,” Alota said. “It is a dream come true to take command of a ship whose motto is, ‘Make a Difference.’ We are going to accomplish some spectacular things. I am here to serve the crew and together we are going to achieve greatness.”

    Lane’s next assignment will be Special Assistant to Expeditionary Strike Group Three (ESG 3).

    USS John P. Murtha is the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy and is named in honor of Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania and homeported in San Diego and is part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet. The ship first deployed May 2019. They completed their deployment on November 27, 2019. John P. Murtha’s exceptional performance lead to the 2019 Battle Efficiency Award. Additionally, the ship provided amphibious lift during the multi-na¬tional exercise RIMPAC 2018, and twice supported NASA testing of at-sea recovery procedures for the Orion space capsule.



    Date Taken: 07.10.2020
    Date Posted: 07.12.2020 10:09
    Story ID: 373767
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 
    Hometown: ALLENTOWN, PA, US
    Hometown: SAN DIEGO, CA, US

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