New Commander aboard USS Vella Gulf

Capt. Francis X. Castellano relieved Capt. Robert D. Katz as commanding officer of guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) during a change-of-command ceremony, April 17.

Katz commanded Vella Gulf during a six-month deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations. While deployed, Vella Gulf operated in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. She also participated in numerous multi-national exercises and ballistic missile defense operations in support of national tasking.

Castellano reported to Vella Gulf after serving at Joint Enabling Capabilities Command Joint Planning Support Element. He commissioned through the United States Naval Academy in 1990, earning a Bachelor of Science in History. At sea, Castellano served aboard USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75). Previous commands include USS Chinook (PC 9) and USS Bainbridge (DDG 96).

Vella Gulf is currently in National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard, in Norfolk, for an extended drydocking selected restricted availability.

[mappress mapid=”15715″]

Image: US Navy