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    USS Spruance (DDG 111) Holds Change of Command

    USS Spruance (DDG 111) holds Change of Command

    Photo By Ensign Eva Knowles | USS Spruance (DDG 111) holds Change of Command Ceremony on the USS Midway Museum...... read more read more



    Story by Ensign Eva Knowles 

    USS Spruance (DDG 111)

    NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO- The guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) held its change of command ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum (CV-41), April 14, 2023. Cmdr. Christopher Ivey relieved Cmdr. Douglas Robb during the time-honored ceremony.
    With the crew of USS Spruance in attendance, Robb passed command to Ivey on the historic carrier’s flight deck. Ivey became Spruance’s 10th commanding officer since the ship’s commissioning in 2011.

    Spruance is a Flight IIA guided-missile destroyer named after Admiral Raymond Spruance, whose decisive leadership during World War II determined American victory at the turning point of the war in the Pacific: the Battle of Midway. Admiral Spruance’s success in defending Midway Island makes the USS Midway Museum, a retired Aircraft Carrier (CV-41) moored in downtown San Diego, a natural choice for this momentous occasion. Two of Admiral Spruance’s grandchildren—ship’s sponsor, Ellen Spruance Holscher, and Raymond Ames Spruance II—attended the ceremony.

    In his address, Robb observed, “I’m lucky — to lead a tough and resilient crew whose operational accomplishments in the Western Pacific and back here in San Diego will be the stuff of waterfront legend for years to come. Lucky to lead the highest-performing Chief's Mess with which I’ve ever served. Lucky to lead such a talented Wardroom, including the best cadre of department heads ever assembled.”

    Robb continued to discuss this theme of luck and how sailors can earn luck by upholding core values. “I’m reminded of the famous quote that ‘luck is the residue of design,” Robb said. “I believe that leaders of all ranks – from O-5 to E-5, O-1 to E-1 – earn their luck through effort, expertise, and ethos; traits that combine to form a single characteristic that has become synonymous with our ship and namesake: excellence. And yet…there’s just no doubt about it…I am lucky, and I am lucky to have been your Captain.”

    Robb graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2005 and, upon commissioning, served as the communications officer and navigator on USS Halsey (DDG 97). Other seagoing assignments include Operations Officer on USS Kidd (DDG 100); Operations Officer (N3) for Commander, Destroyer Squadron SEVEN (CDS 7); and Executive Officer of Spruance. Ashore, Robb served as a liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives at the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA); Surface Strike/Tomahawk Missile Requirements Officer in the Surface Warfare Division (OPNAV N96); and Speechwriter for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).

    Some of Robb’s notable accomplishments include bringing Spruance safely back from her 2022 7th Fleet Deployment where she served as the USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN 72) sole destroyer escort and was regularly activated as Air and Missile Defense Commander. Spruance also tracked myriad foreign-flagged submarines to provide continuous protection above, on, and below the ocean’s surface. Additionally, in Fall 2022, Spruance pioneered at-sea missile rearmament concepts to reduce deployed combatant “off-station” time during a potential conflict, and hosted the Secretary of the Navy onboard to provide operational recommendations to expand this initiative. Robb’s next assignment will be as the Navy’s Hudson Fellow to St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

    Ivey previously served as the executive officer of Spruance. During his speech, Ivey thanked the official party, the chiefs and officers that supported him throughout his career, and the current Spruance crew, with a special thanks to Robb: “Doug [Robb], your leadership and execution of Spruance’s mission and the well-being of our crew was eye-watering. From the way you commanded Spruance on Deployment to how you aggressively pursued completion of our maintenance phase, you performed admirably.”

    Ivey then transitioned toward talk of the future and his aspirations as commanding officer: “Quiet Warriors – Spruance is a fighting ship and as your Captain, I expect your very best, I expect your dedication to the mission and to each other, I expect your determination to be relentless in the pursuit of success. I expect your discipline to do your jobs, and to take care of our ship, and I expect your desire to always win the fight. And whatever mission we get called upon to perform, let there be no question, I will lead you.”

    Ivey hails from Weston, Massachusetts and Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire. He graduated from Boston College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and from Northeastern University Business School in 2014 with a Master of Business Administration degree.

    Ivey’s sea tours include operations division officer aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4); Main Propulsion Assistant and plank owner aboard USS Independence (LCS 2); Chief Engineer aboard USS Sampson (DDG 102); Chief Engineer aboard USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and Executive Officer aboard USS Spruance (DDG 111), all homeported in San Diego, California. Ashore, he served as lead engineering and ship handling instructor for the Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship engineering officer course at the Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, Rhode Island. Additionally, he served as cruiser and destroyer Placement Officer at PERS-41, Surface Officer Assignments, Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee and as Deputy Executive Assistant to the Commander, Naval Surface Forces/Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet in San Diego, California.

    Ivey is taking command of Spruance as she exits the depot and modernization phase and prepares to enter basic phase.

    USS Spruance (DDG 111) is a Flight IIA DDG stationed in San Diego, CA and currently completing a Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) in the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard.



    Date Taken: 04.14.2023
    Date Posted: 04.14.2023 18:01
    Story ID: 442677
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 
    Hometown: WESTON, MA, US

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