US Navy destroyer William P. Lawrence changes command in San Diego

Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) held a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, September 1.

During the ceremony, Cmdr. Brandon J. Burkett relieved Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor as commanding officer.

Mainor assumed command of William P. Lawrence Jun 11, 2015, and led the ship through integrated training and a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific. During the 206-day cruise with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG-3) also known as the Great Green Fleet, Lawrence visited six foreign ports, operated with twenty-six nations, participated in seven multi-lateral and joint operations, and conducted eleven chokepoint transits.

Burkett reported to William P. Lawrence in May 2015 as the executive officer and transitioned to commanding officer as part of the Navy’s fleet-up program. The program features an 18-month executive officer tour followed by a commanding officer tour aboard the same ship.

Burkett said the fleet-up program allowed him to become familiar with the crew and the ship before assuming command of William P. Lawrence.

Commissioned June 4, 2011, Lawrence is named after Vice Adm. William P. Lawrence, a naval aviator, former Vietnam prisoner of war and former commander of U.S. Third Fleet. Assigned to the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG 3), the ship returned from a seven-month deployment Aug. 11 and is conducting a post-deployment Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV) in preparation for sustainment phase training.