USS Cape St. George Changes Command
SAN DIEGO - USS Cape St. George (CG 71) held a change of command ceremony on February 15, 2013. Captain Donald D. Gabrielson turned over command of the AEGIS cruiser to Captain Michael P. Doran.
The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 22 month command tour for Gabrielson. He led Cape through a 260 day deployment with Abraham Lincoln Strike Group as Air Defense Commander, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. In that deployment, Cape sailed over 74,000 nautical miles, circumnavigating the globe during over 230 days at sea.
“Words fail to capture my pride in this team,” said Gabrielson, a northern Minnesota native and 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. “They overcame an incredible set of challenges, including two deployment extensions, and the Dragonslayer crew displayed amazing teamwork- I’m extremely proud of their many accomplishments. This has been my hardest, but also most rewarding tour, hands-down, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to lead so many inspiring Sailors. They and their families are my heroes.”
USS Cape St. George was recognized with multiple competitive ship awards, including the 2012 Pacific Fleet class energy efficiency pennant, consecutive Golden Anchor awards for retention excellence, the 2011 Pacific Fleet overall best ship store award, a Strike Group Nine Sailor of the Year, and a Strike Group Nine Junior Officer Shiphandler of the Year.
Capt. Doran, incoming commanding officer, is a 1989 graduate of Villanova University, and earned his Master of Arts degree in National Security Affairs with a concentration in Middle East Area Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He completed sea tours aboard USS Carr (FFG 52) as First Lieutenant, Auxiliaries Officer, and Combat Information Officer, Flag Aide to the Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group Two USS George Washington Strike Group, and USS McFaul as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer. He served as Executive Officer of USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and as the first Commanding Officer of USS Freedom (LCS 1) Gold Crew.
“I am very excited to be the CO of Cape,” said Doran. “We have a great crew and I look forward to helping to carry on the tradition of this great ship.”