Mobile Bay holds Change of Command Ceremony

by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alonzo Martin-Frazier
20 May 2022
Mobile Bay holds Change of Command Ceremony
SLIDESHOW | 2 images | 220520-N-CO548-1071 PHILIPPINE SEA (May 20, 2022) Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3 Rear Adm. Jeffrey Anderson, left, from Fayetteville, N.C., authorizes Capt. Brandon Burkett, from Waterloo, Iowa, assume command of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Abraham Lincoln Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alonzo Martin-Frazier)
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) held a change of command ceremony while steaming in the Philippine Sea, May 20. The ceremony observed the time-honored tradition inherent in the transition of leadership between Capt. Jeremy Gray and Capt. Brandon Burkett as commanding officer.

In his farewell speech, Gray expressed his gratitude toward his family, Executive Officer Cmdr. Charles Jones, Command Master Chief William Webster and the families and crew of the ship he commanded during his tenure. 

“Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘I suppose it’s time to go, though I’d much rather stay,’ and I think these words best sum up my feelings at this moment,” Gray said. “It’s been a long ride, and command is challenging, but it’s everything I’ve hoped it would be. Leading this wonderful group of people, these men and women, is the accomplishment and culmination of what I’ve wanted to achieve throughout my career.” 

Gray reflected on the accomplishments of Mobile Bay during its 2022 deployment with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group as what he believes to be the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72)’s most dependable and trusted escort and a tactical marvel in its conduct during independent steaming operations and joint and allied exercises. 

“Mobile Bay is the most ready warship I’ve served on in my 26 years of service to the U.S. Navy, and that’s a credit to the Sailors that make up its’ crew,” Gray said. “Capt. Burkett comes with a lot of energy and I know that he will do an amazing job in assuming command of this wonderful crew and keeping the mission on track.” 

Rear Adm. J.T. Anderson, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3, oversaw the ceremony as its guest of honor. During the observance, he awarded Gray with a Legion of Merit award and praised Mobile Bay’s performance.

“Mobile Bay doesn’t look like a 35 year-old warship, and her crew has done a phenomenal job making this vessel work and operate incredibly,” Anderson said. “This change of command shifts the authority, responsibility and accountability rooted in U.S. law, regulation and U.S. Navy doctrine between two fully capable Commanding Officers. Mobile Bay’s mission is absolutely essential to the U.S. Navy’s ability to fight and win, and throughout Gray’s tenure he has single-handedly kept his crew able to do just that.”

Anderson highlighted Mobile Bay’s newly accrued real-world experiences during aggregated operations such as Fleet Battle Problem 2022, Jungle Warfare Exercise 2022 and Noble Fusion, and the forays and excursions made into the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Sea of Japan. He emphasized that the ship performed superbly and demonstrated warfighting expertise during independent steaming operations in the East China Sea and during long range demonstrations in the Sea of Japan.

 “Mobile Bay Sailors are helping to redefine the standard for all other carrier strike groups and they can be justifiably proud of their achievements,” Anderson said. “Capt. Burkett has some big shoes to fill, but he’s ready to do it, and I’m not sure there’s anyone more suited to command a cruiser than him. He has a tremendous amount of experience on the cruiser platform and is well-postured to take the reins as commanding officer of Mobile Bay and serve as air and missile defense commander for the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group.” 

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.


 
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Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2841 Rendova Rd. San Diego, CA 92155-5490

This is an official
U.S. Navy website

U.S. Pacific Fleet
2841 Rendova Rd
San Diego, CA
92155-5490

Email:
Public Affairs Officer
Webmaster

 
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