SOUTH CHINA SEA
– Capt. Michael J. Ford relieved Capt. Dominic DeScisciolo as commanding officer of the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) during a change of command ceremony held at the forecastle of the ship May 21.
“I am a blessed man,” said DeScisciolo. “I have commanded the greatest ship in the Navy; made up of the finest officers, chiefs and Sailors; it has been an honor and a pleasure to command this mighty war ship.”
The crew assembled and waited on the arrival of Rear Adm. Samuel Perez, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 commander. As the guest speaker, Perez spoke of the accomplishments of Bunker Hill while under DeScisciolo’s command.
“Being the commanding officer of a ship is not easy, and from everything that I see, you (DeScisciolo) forged a winning team and did it with a sense of ease that belies a commanding officer,” said Perez.
During DeScisciolo’s 21-month tenure, the ship escorted USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during the Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier’s three month transit to its new home port of San Diego. Along the way, Bunker Hill responded with CSG-1 as part of Haitian relief efforts after the 7.0 magnitude earth quake struck the island nation.
Upon return, Bunker Hill participated in multiple high profile events, including the 2010 Portland Rose Festival and playing host to the Russian Federation Cruiser Varyag’s visit to San Francisco. Soon after, Bunker Hill departed on its second post-modernization deployment, operating in the 5th and 7th Fleets as Air Defense Commander for CSG 1. While operating in the Middle East, the ship provided direct support for Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, advancing critical U.S. interests in the region.
DeScisciolo is scheduled to report as Director of the Mine Warfare Battle staff at the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command in San Diego.