US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson changes command

U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Winson held a change of command ceremony on the flight deck at its homeport in Naval Base San Diego.

Capt. Douglas C. Verissimo relieved Capt. Karl O. Thomas as commanding officer during the May 31 ceremony.

Rear Adm. James T. Loeblein, commander, Carrier Strike Group One, presided over the ceremony.

Before being relieved of command, Thomas thanked each of Carl Vinson’s “Gold Eagle Warriors” for their dedication to the Navy’s mission by getting the ship ready to deploy on time.

Loeblein presented Thomas the Legion of Merit award during the ceremony for his outstanding service as commanding officer. Carl Vinson completed a Western Pacific and Middle East deployment under Thomas, followed with the completion of a Chief of Naval Operations Planned Incremental Availability.

While deployed, Carl Vinson steamed more than 61,000 nautical miles; operated in the 7th, 5th and 3rd Fleet areas of responsibility; completed 10,641 fixed-wing launches and recoveries, and 33 replenishments-at-sea; and dropped 500,000 pounds of precision weapons on ISIS targets.

After official orders were read, Verissimo assumed all duties and responsibilities as commanding officer and addressed his new crew for the first time.

Prior to assuming command, Verissimo served as commanding officer aboard USS New Orleans (LPD 18).