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120509-N-QT419-307 GULF OF ADEN (May 9, 2012) - Cmdr. Chris Alexander, center, salutes the sideboys after being relieved as commanding officer of  guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). Cmdr. Dwayne Ducommum, not shown, relieved Alexander as commanding officer of Sampson during a ceremony held at sea.  Sampson is assigned to Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national, mission-based task force working under Combined Maritime Forces, to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Intelligence Specialist First Class Tyler D. Rubin/Released)
USS Sampson Changes Command at Sea 
GULF OF ADEN – Guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) conducted a change of command, while operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), May 9.

Cmdr. Dwayne Ducommun relieved Cmdr. Chris Alexander as the commanding officer of Sampson during a ceremony held at sea.

During Alexander’s twenty-month tenure as commanding officer, the ship earned two consecutive Battle “E” awards, the Spokane Trophy, and made two deployments. Eight officers qualified as Surface Warfare Officers, ten Sailors were promoted to Chief Petty Officers, and 64 Sailors re-enlisted under Alexander’s leadership.

Ducommun, a prior enlisted Electronics Maintenance Technician and limited duty officer, reported aboard Sampson as the Executive Officer in January. His previous sea tours include executive officer of guided-missile frigate USS John L. Hall (FFG 32), and assignments aboard aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), and guided-missile destroyers USS John S. Mccain (DDG 56), USS Harry W. Hill (DD 986) and USS Cochrane (DDG 21).

"It is an honor and a privilege to be the fourth commanding officer of the fourth U.S. warship with the namesake Sampson,” said Ducommun. “This ship and this crew have accomplished a great many things and I look forward to being a part of Sampson's future endeavors and accomplishments."

Sampson’s departed its homeport of San Diego, Feb. 24, for a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

Sampson is assigned to Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national, mission-based task force working under Combined Maritime Forces, to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean.
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