Upon arrival to Seal Beach, Calif., Capt. Douglas “V8” Verissimo turned over command of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship to Capt. Glenn “Shooter” Jamison prior to commencing the ammunition on load in preparation to an upcoming deployment.
“I am proud of their accomplishments, inspired by their total dedication to the team, and confident because their combined efforts will result in winning,” said guest speaker, Rear Adm. Daniel Fillion, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Three. “Ladies and gentlemen, the team of New Orleans is doing just that, winning!”
The ceremony marked the end of an extensive training cycle and numerous certifications in preparation for deployment. Verissimo led the crew through a challenging five month maintenance availability, inspection and survey preparations, basic phase evolutions, ammunition onload preparations, and pre-deployment workups.
During the ceremony, Verissimo shared his thoughts to the crew.
“We have never given up, and we have taken care of each other fully; we have done a great job at improving the ship, you all should be proud. We are a smarter, better trained ship, earning first-pass yields time and time again. We have taken the opportunity to improve ourselves personally and in our mission,” he said. “I am honored to have led you.”
Verissimo will report to Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC) at Naval Air Station North Island.
Jamison addressed the crew after taking command of New Orleans.
“I will tell you it is an absolute privilege to be here today, standing as your commanding officer,” said Jamison. “It is a great ship, but I have been in the business long enough to know that it is not the weapons systems, it is about the people who man those weapons systems, and from what I have seen from the last couple of weeks, you have all been doing a phenomenal job.”
“The ship and the crew are a direct reflection of the commanding officer, and from what I have seen over the past few weeks has been nothing but impressive,” added Jamison. “It is an absolute tribute to your leadership, V8.”
During his career, Jamison completed sea tours with the Greyhawks of VAW 120 as an Instructor Pilot, the Golden Hawks of VAW 112 deployed aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Carl Vinson, the Black Eagles of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113 deployed aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). He also served at the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station where he served as Air Warning Center Commander, Air Battle Management Officer and served as North American Aerospace Defense Command Deputy Command Director.
Prior to taking command of New Orleans, Jamison also commanded VAW 113, where his squadron completed two combat deployments for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and earned consecutive Commander, Naval Air Forces Battle “E” Awards for 2008 and 2009. He next served as the Executive Assistant to the Director, Air Warfare, Chief of Naval Operations, and most recently served as Executive Officer of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
Following the ceremony, the crew enjoyed a reception on the flight deck.
New Orleans is the second ship in Navy's San Antonio class of ships, designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessels. The fourth in the U.S. Navy fleet to bear the name, New Orleans was commissioned in March 2007.
The ship combines 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and warfighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft, and is capable of taking nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines into harm's way.