New Commander aboard USS Bataan

Capt. John Carter relieved Capt. George J. Vassilakis as commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) Nov. 5 during a change of command ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay at Naval Station Norfolk.

As part of the event, Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Bill Moran, served as the guest speaker.

Under his command, Vassilakis guided the flagship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group in the completion of a recent nine-month deployment in support of maritime security operations, crisis response, theater security cooperation and provided a forward naval presence in the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

Bataan welcomes a familiar face as Vassilakis handed over command to his executive officer. Carter’s tour aboard the ship is part of the Navy’s Executive Officer to Commanding Officer Fleet-Up program. Carter, a native of Hampton Bays, New York, became Bataan’s 13th commanding officer since the ship was commissioned, Sept. 20, 1997.

A 1988 graduate of the University of Rochester, Carter received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. He earned a Master of Arts in national security and strategic studies from U.S. Naval War College. He began his career as the reactor controls officer and reactor training assistant aboard USS Mississippi (CGN-40). Carter has commanded two ships, USS Salvor (ARS-52) from 2001 to 2003, and USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) from 2006 to 2008.

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Press release, Image: US Navy