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USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Surface Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO – USS Chancellorsville (DDG 69) held a change of command ceremony pierside at Naval Base San Diego, Nov. 13. Capt. John P. Nolan turned over command of the Guided Missile Cruiser to Capt. Mike Hegarty.

The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 22-month command tour for Nolan. He led Chancellorsville through a deployment as the Air Defense Commander for the USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He and the Chancellorsville crew have made two deployments to the Arabian Gulf and Western Pacific in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

During these deployments, Chancellorsville participated in the exercises “Malabar 2008” and “Thai Navy Passex.” They also had a cultural exchange with the Australian Navy while in the 5th Fleet Area of Operation (AOR).

“It has been a tremendous honor to have commanded Chancellorsville,” said Nolan. “From ensuring the ship is ready to fight materially to keeping the morale of the crew and their families high, there really is no duty quite like commanding a ship at sea.”

Captain John “Buzz” Nolan was born and raised in Massapequa Park, New York. He is the third of seven children of John J. Nolan, a retired admiralty lawyer and former naval officer and Patricia T. Nolan a retired real estate agent. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in history.

His sea duty assignments include boilers officer and main propulsion assistant aboard USS William H. Standley (CG 32), chief engineer aboard USS Leftwich (DD 984) and executive officer aboard USS Oldendorf (DD 972).

Captain Nolan took command of USS Elliot (DD 967) in July 2002. He and the crew decommissioned the ship and assumed command of USS Fletcher (DD 992) in December 2003 as the fourth and final crew in the Navy's Spruance class destroyer sea swap experiment. Captain Nolan reported to Cruiser Destroyer Group 1 embarked on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) as the surface operations officer. He made two deployments on Reagan and subsequently fleeted up to operations officer of the Reagan Strike Group on the Carrier Strike Group 7 staff.

Capt. Hegarty enlisted in the United States Navy in 1976 immediately after high school. Initially serving in USS Trepang (SSN 674), a fast-attack submarine, he afterwards instructed at Basic Enlisted Submarine School where he promoted to chief petty officer, attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Southern Illinois University, and received a commission as an engineering Leading Division Officer (LDO).

Sea tours include boilers officer and main propulsion assistant in USS Charles F. Adams (DDG 2); assistant material officer on the Commander Destroyer Squadron (COMDESRON) 12 staff; chief engineer in USS Paul (FF 1080), chief engineer in USS Leahy (CG 16), chief engineer in USS England (CG 22), weapons officer on COMDESRON 17 staff (deployed with USS Kitty Hawk) and combat systems and training officer on the COMDESRON 18 staff (deployed with USS George Washington). Command tours include USS Dextrous (MCM 13) and commissioning commanding officer of USS Nitze (DDG 94).

"As I was coming up for orders, I already knew what ship I wanted to command,” said Hegarty. “This particular ship and her crew have had an intense underway schedule and have been tested time and time again. Despite the time away from home and loved ones, Chacellorsville Sailors continually put forth a tremendous effort in everything they do. That's the type of crew I wanted to be apart of."

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