SAN DIEGO, CA -- USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Station San Diego on August 4th. The ceremony marked the transfer of command from CAPT Andrew F. Carlson to CAPT Gary L. Cave, who became the ship's 4th commanding officer. Carlson assumed command of Zumwalt in November 2018 after serving two years as Executive Officer. For the safety of the crew, friends and family, the ceremony was limited to immediate family members, honored guests, and ship’s company. All guests socially distanced to observe COVID-19 risk mitigation measures.
”I am very proud of the officers and crew of Zumwalt, who have consistently shown a toughness and resiliency characteristic of the very best of our Navy Sailors, throughout a delicate balance of operations, training certification, and critical activation and testing of the DDG 1000 stealth destroyer. They are the reason we continue to make progress,” said Carlson.
During Carlson’s time in command, Zumwalt completed first-in-class testing, including heavy weather sea trials to the structural test fire of the MK46 30mm cannons. Zumwalt also participated in the 2019 San Francisco Fleet Week, engagement visits with the Royal Canadian Navy in Esquimalt, British Columbia, and the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. Other operations at sea validated new technologies inherent in the Zumwalt class design and pioneered tactics and concepts of operation in coordination with Surface Development Squadron ONE and the Naval Sea Systems Command Zumwalt Class Destroyer Program Office.
During the ceremony onboard Zumwalt, Captain Carlson reflected on his time in command, “I count it a special privilege to have been able to serve in 1000 these four years. The accomplishments of the program are notable, and the end game of each milestone effort has been made possible by extraordinary individual efforts of some very talented Sailors as well as the entire crew’s approach to problem solving with technical ingenuity, teamwork, and Sailor grit. This is a very special cadre of stealth ship operators.”
Cave has served as Zumwalt’s executive officer since Oct. 2018. He began his previous command tour in USS RUSSELL (DDG 59) before conducting the first-ever DDG hull-swap with USS HALSEY (DDG 97), bringing HALSEY to her new homeport of Pearl Harbor. His other afloat assignments include USS CUSHING (DD 985), USS THOMAS S GATES (CG51), USS DE WERT (FFG 45), and USS PRINCETON (CG 59).
Commissioned in 2016, USS Zumwalt is named in honor of Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., a native of Tulare, California and 1942 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. After serving as the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam, he was appointed as the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, the youngest admiral to hold the position. Known as a reformer, innovator, and Sailor advocate, his programs had lasting impact on the Navy’s warfighting readiness and most importantly bettered the Navy through quality of life improvements and institutionalizing equality for minorities and women in the Navy.