The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) held a change of command ceremony in Augusta Bay, Italy, April 7, 2018.
Capt. Brent DeVore, from Knoxville, Tennessee, relieved Capt. Todd Vandegrift, from Albion, Indiana, after his highly successful tour as Commanding Officer.
Capt. Vandegrift assumed command of New York in October 2016 as the ship’s sixth commanding officer. At the beginning of his tour, the ship emerged from an extensive maintenance period and plunged into an accelerated basic phase. Upon completion of the basic phase, New York charged into a combined integrated and advanced phase culminating in the ship’s 2018 deployment as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group. The ship performed exceptionally well during her pre-deployment workups, maintaining a 100% first-time pass rate on all certifications while returning the New York to a mission-ready condition. New York also underwent an intense Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) material inspection where she excelled, earning a .82 Figure of Merit (IFOM), the highest score by any San Antonio class ship to date.
New York’s notable performance during her pre-deployment workups was merely not enough for the ship and crew. The New York team earned the Battle “E”, exceeded Navy advancement averages, earned consecutive Golden Anchors for retention excellence and expanded the operational envelope of the ship class, bringing new reach and capability to the Amphibious Ready Group.
“New York is a ship unlike any other,” said Capt. Vandegrift. “She 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.”
Capt. Vandegrift was presented with the Legion of Merit for his performance as commanding officer. He will continue his naval service as Commanding Officer of the NROTC unit at the University of Utah.
DeVore was selected for Major Command at Sea and reported to the USS New York as executive officer in July 2016. He has served many roles in the Navy with tours ranging from Assignments officer in the Surface Distribution Division of the Bureau of Naval Personnel to Executive officer and Commanding Officer of USS Stethem (DDG 63).
“I am both humbled and honored to be a part of such a remarkable crew. This has been an incredible two years. We have met every challenge with hard work and dedication which has allowed us excel in all warfare areas. But will not stop here. This is not our final destination. We will continue to prepare for the challenges ahead and always remain ready for whatever mission comes our way.” said Capt. DeVore.
New York, homeported in Mayport, Florida, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.