New Commander aboard USS Donald Cook

The crew of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Oct. 17.

Capt. James Aiken, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 60, presided over the ceremony as Cmdr. Scott Jones was relieved by Cmdr. Charles Hampton.

As commanding officer, Jones oversaw Donald Cook’s transit from Norfolk, Virginia, to Rota, Spain, becoming the first of four destroyers to be forward deployed there as part of the President’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to ballistic missile defense in Europe. Jones led Donald Cook on the ship’s first patrol in theater as the ship conducted naval operations with partners and allies in both the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea in order to advance security and stability in Europe.

Before exchanging salutes, Jones and Hampton read their official orders explaining what position they will assume, effective Oct. 17. Hampton, who previously served as the ship’s executive officer, exchanged salutes with Jones to officially represent his assumption of command.

Hampton was relieved by Cmdr. Timothy Moore as executive officer.

Jones will report to Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) in Newport, Rhode Island as an instructor.

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Press release, Image: US Navy