San Diego, CA - Littoral Combat Ship USS Independence (LCS 2) held a change of command ceremony at San Diego Naval Station March 1.
CDR Joe A. Gagliano relieved CDR Matthew J. Jerbi as the Independence's Commanding Officer in a ceremony on the ship's flight deck.
Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One, Captain Chris J. Peterschmidt was the key speaker during the ceremony.
Peterschmidt commended Jerbi for a job well done as the commanding officer of Independence since October 2011.
"Independence just arrived here a week ago from NASSCO shipyard," said Peterschmidt. "with USS Freedom launched this morning on her maiden deployment to the Western Pacific for 10 months, it altogether has been a good week for LCS Squadron"
Since October 2011, Independence and its crew have safely tested the Remote Multi-Mission Mine Hunting Vehicle (RMMV) in a dynamic at-sea environment benefiting the long term goals of the Littoral Combat Ship production line. In addition to the mission package testing, they executed a full schedule with further Testing and Evaluation of the INDEPENDENCE-class Seaframe including Acoustic Influence Mine Susceptibility (AIMS) evaluation, a 57mm structural test firing event, and sea state three and four structural integrity testing .
Additionally, the Independence recently completed an extremely successful major Post-Shakedown Availability brining the ship one major step closer to Final Contractor Trails.
"Matt took command in Pensacola, FL and between him and the Gold Crew under CDR Jerry Olin, and the embarked MCM Detachment, together they conducted some revolutionary new methods of detecting and destroying mines and for the first time in our Navy's history and perhaps the world, USS Independence, detected and neutralized a simulated mine in a mine field without ever putting the ship at risk - which is unlike how we do business today with our legacy Mine Countermeasure ships," said Peterschmidt.
Jerbi, in his speech to the crew and attendees, welcomed his relief and thanked his crew, the ship's Ombudsman and the Family Readiness Group.
"I know every CO in the Navy says they have the best crew in the fleet, but with 100% confidence, I am here to tell you that INDEPENDENCE Blue Crew and MCM DET TWO is the best damn crew in the fleet," said Jerbi.
CDR Gagliano received his Commission from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1996. At sea, CDR Gagliano served on USS LABOON (DDG 58) as the Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer, Communications Officer, Auxiliaries/Electrical Officer and Strike Officer. He also served on USS COLE (DDG 67) as the Weapons Control Officer and Combat Systems Officer. Ashore, CDR Gagliano served at the Surface Warfare Officers School, Department Head Training, as the lead instructor for Combat Systems Officer, AEGIS Weapon System, Tomahawk Land Attack Missile and Anti-Terrorism Force Protection. He served in DEEP BLUE in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) as a Pacific Fleet analyst, where his portfolio included Anti-Submarine Warfare, AEGIS Air Defense and East Asia political-military affairs. CDR Gagliano also served in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review as a strategic planning team leader and in OPNAV N00X as a political military specialist in Pacific-Asia affairs.