USS George Washington Holds Change of Command Ceremony

USS George Washington Holds Change of Command Ceremony

The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) held a change of command ceremony Aug.11.

Capt. Gregory J. Fenton relieved Capt. David A. Lausman to become George Washington’s 11th commanding officer.

“We stood on this same stage 40 months and 2 days ago,” said Lausman. “Since then, we have both watched from different vantage points — you the crew have excelled in both operational deployments and maintenance, and answering our country’s call for tasking as the Flagship of our Navy’s permanently, forward-deployed naval force.”

Lausman assumed command of George Washington in April 2009 and has completed four Selected Restricted Availabilities; an emergency sortie in response to the March 2011 Japan tsunami and distressed civilian-nuclear power plant; and has conducted four patrols in the 7th Fleet area of operations while hosting numerous senior government officials, defense and military leaders, and heads of industry from more than 13 Western Pacific countries.

“George Washington could never hope to maintain the operational tempo or excellence without support,” said Lausman. “Support is vital to our success in maintenance, operational deployments and engagements with our vital maritime partners throughout the Western Pacific.”

Guest speaker Rear Adm. J.R. Haley, Task Force Seven Zero commander, addressed those in attendance during the ceremony, welcoming Fenton to the George Washington family.

“The test of leadership is not how well a unit responds under optimum conditions; the test of leadership is how a team responds in adversity,” said Haley. “George Washington responded superbly at every corner where she encountered obstacles, impediments, and unplanned events.”

Fenton has served as executive officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and commanded USS Denver (LPD 9). His most recent assignment was chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

“We must simultaneously safely operate our ship while preparing for sequential maintenance periods,” said Fenton. “We must continue to aggressively identify and correct all discrepancies, train for operations and for personal professional development. I am proud to be your commanding officer and am excited about joining you for the ride.”

Following the ceremony, guests were invited to a reception and cake cutting in the ship’s hangar bay to celebrate the change of command.

George Washington is currently pier side in Yokosuka, Japan making preparations to return to sea.

Naval Today Staff, August 14, 2012; Image: US Navy