SAN DIEGO - USS Gridley (DDG 101) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Base San Diego on Sept. 18.
Joined on the ship by family, friends, and the ship’s crew, Cmdr. Mark Nieswiadomy turned over command of the guided-missile destroyer to Cmdr. Marc Crawford.
The change of command ceremony honored the end of a 36-month tour abaord Gridley for Nieswiadomy. After serving as the Executive Officer for 18 months, Nieswiadomy took command on March 28, 2014.
Capt. Joe Keenan, Commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 delivered the principal address. He commended Cmdr. Nieswiadomy for his leadership and sacrifice, especially throughout the recent nine-and-a-half month deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th fleet areas of operation with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group.
Nieswiadomy reflected positively on his time onboard Gridley in his speech. He praised his family, friends, and the crew for their endless support and hard work to make his career a success.
Prior to assuming command through the Navy’s fleet-up program, Crawford served for 18 months as the Executive Officer aboard Gridley. During his speech, he highlighted the significance of the event for him to the crew.
“You are a remarkable crew and I view this leadership opportunity bestowed upon me with the upmost respect and humility,” he said. “Please know I am deeply honored to be your Captain.”
Gridley is scheduled to enter drydocking selected restricted availability in Everett, Washington next year.
Gridley was commissioned on February 10, 2007, and is named after Captain Charles Gridley who commanded Admiral George Dewey’s flagship Olympia during the Battle of Manila Bay.