USS Hopper Holds Change of Command Ceremony
By Ensign Jessica L. Fitzgerald, USS Hopper (DDG 70) Public Affairs
MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) held a change of command ceremony aboard ship March 17 at Mina Salman Port in Manama, Bahrain.
Cmdr. Kevin A. Melody relieved Cmdr. Timothy J. Kott as Hopper's commanding officer.
The ceremony marked the end of a two-year tour for Kott, who commanded the ship to numerous accolades, including two Battle Efficiency Awards and the coveted Spokane Trophy. The Spokane Trophy is awarded by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet to the surface combatant ship considered to be the most proficient in overall combat systems, readiness and warfare operations.
"I view the change of command as a day of recognition and thanks for the crew," said Kott, during his farewell address.
Kott expressed gratitude for the command's supporters in their homeport of Hawaii, including friends and family, Jennifer Pisani, the command ombudsman, and Pearl Harbor Port Engineer Doey Guasch.
Kott will report to the National War College in Washington, D.C.
Melody assumed command after serving as the staff anti-submarine warfare officer with Standing North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Maritime Group 1, where he deployed to the Gulf of Oman and Somali Basin to conduct counter-piracy operations in support of Operation Allied Protector.
Melody reflected on his new command and its legacy of success.
"Over the last several months, as I have attended schools all across the country, I had heard of Hopper's excellent reputation throughout the Navy," said Melody. "Now that I am here, I am beginning to see what has created that reputation."