YOKOSUKA, Japan - Seventh Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) held a change of command ceremony aboard the ship, May 11.
Capt. Daniel Grieco relieved Capt. Rudy Lupton as USS Blue Ridge commanding officer.
Lupton served as commanding officer for 18 months, leading the ship and crew through several Pacific patrols, inspections, Operation Tomodachi, and a three-month dry dock period that extended the life of the ship. During his tenure, he guided the ship through unit-level training assessments (ULTRA), several international cooperative exercises, earned excellence awards that culminated in the Battle Efficiency "E" award, passed the supply management certification, and earned the Capt. Edward F. Ney Award for best food service on a large deck ship.
During the ceremony, Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet; presented Lupton with the Legion of Merit Award. Lupton said the real credit for the ship's success belongs to the Sailors.
"Their hard work allowed us to meet each milestone," Lupton said. "The Sailors on board Blue Ridge are fine examples of our Navy and our country."
Grieco assumes command of Blue Ridge after serving as executive officer aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73). His previous tours include commanding officer of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 24 and serving as executive assistant to Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
After the ceremony, Grieco spoke to the crew via the ship's internal communication system.
"I look forward to serving you and serving with you in providing the best support to the fleet," said Grieco.
Grieco assumes command as the 24th commanding officer of the Blue Ridge since the ship's commissioning November 14, 1970.
Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the command ship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. CTF 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.