SAN DIEGO – The officers and crew of the guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) held a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship at Naval Base San Diego, June 16.
During the ceremony, Cmdr. Patrick H. O’Mahoney relieved Cmdr. Steven M. Foley as the ship’s commanding officer.
Capt. Paul H. Hogue, commander of Destroyer Squadron 23, served as the guest speaker for the event.
"These Sailors executed with precision during a very rigorous schedule over the last 20 months,” said Foley. “Leading these talented and highly capable Sailors has been an honor.”
Foley, who first reported to Sampson in September 2013 as the ship’s executive officer, took command of the ship in November 2013. His next assignment will be at Tactical Training Group Pacific in San Diego.
“I consider it a deep privilege to have been chosen to take the helm and an even deeper honor to assume command from someone like Cmdr. Foley,” said O’Mahoney after taking command.
Before arriving to Sampson as the ship’s executive officer in October of 2013, O’Mahoney served as congressional liaison for the Secretary of the Navy in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington DC. He previously commanded the mine countermeasures ship USS Defender (MCM 2), serving as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in Sasebo, Japan.
“Of the countless emotions coursing through my veins today, I believe the most compelling to be that of humility, responsibility and assurance,” said Mahoney. ”I am humbled by the opportunity to lead such a great group of Americans.”
Sampson and its crew of more than 300 recently returned from a 212-day independent deployment to the Asia-Pacific region.
DDG 102 is the fourth U.S. destroyer named after Rear Adm. William Thomas Sampson, who served from 1857 to 1902, and commanded the North Atlantic Station during the Spanish-American War in 1898.