The U.S. Navy San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) held a change of command ceremony in Augusta Bay, Italy on April 7, 2018.
Capt. Brent DeVore relieved Capt. Todd Vandegrift after his eighteen-month tour as commanding officer.
Vandegrift, who became the sixth commanding officer of New York in October 2016, was presented with a Legion of Merit award. His next assignment is commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
DeVore reported to New York as executive officer in July 2016. His sea tours include serving as executive officer and commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63).
“I am both humbled and honored to be a part of such a remarkable crew,” said DeVore. “This has been an incredible two years. We have met every challenge with hard work and dedication, which has allowed us to excel in all warfare areas. We will not stop here. We will continue to prepare for the challenges ahead and always remain ready for whatever mission comes our way.”
Vandegrift led the Mayport, Florida, based ship through an extensive maintenance period and training cycle that certified the ship for its scheduled 2018 deployment that began Feb. 7.
His efforts helped the New York team win a Battle Effectiveness, or Battle “E,” award, exceed Navy advancement averages, earn consecutive golden anchors for retention excellence and expand the operational envelope of the ship class, bringing new reach and capability to the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
“New York is a ship unlike any other,” said Vandegrift. “It represents the fighting spirit of our country and that of our Navy and Marine Corps team. It has been one of my deepest honors to serve aboard and lead this ship and not a day passes that I am not thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team.”
New York is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
The Iwo Jima ARG embarks the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and includes the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), New York, the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Team 4 and 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group 2 and the embarked staff of commander, Amphibious Squadron 4.
MC2 Lyle Wilkie, USS New York (LPD 21)