SAN DIEGO – Cmdr. Adam L. Fleming was relieved by Cmdr. Vincent A. Fortson as commanding officer (CO) of the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) during a change of command ceremony July 29.
The ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Brian K. Shipman, director, Submarine and Mine Warfare Development Center San Diego, praised Fleming’s phenomenal work as commanding officer and offered his wishes for similar success to Fortson.
During his tour as CO of Wayne E. Meyer, Fleming led the ship from their shipyard availability period through the entirety of the basic phase training cycle, a dynamic period of a ship’s life cycle. Additionally, Fleming led his Sailors through the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) material inspection, an examination which occurs every five years in a ship’s life.
"The most valuable lessons I have learned in command have come from listening to every Sailor on board," said Fleming. "Every member of this great crew has taught me something that I will carry on in the future."
Fleming then read his orders and relinquished command to Fortson, who read his orders and addressed the audience and the crew for the first time as Wayne E. Meyer’s CO.
"I am truly honored and humbled to be taking command of a naval warship and especially proud to take command of Wayne E. Meyer," said Fortson. "The crew standing in front of me today serves as tribute to the finest Navy the world has ever seen."
Fortson took command as part of the fleet-up program where he first served as the ship's executive officer.
A native of San Diego, Fortson enlisted in the Navy in 1985 and advanced to the enlisted rank of senior chief petty officer. He received his commission as an officer through the limited duty officer program and was later re-designated to unrestricted line officer. Cmdr. Fortson is a graduate of Excelsior University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts.
Fleming’s next assignment will be at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Wayne E. Meyer recently completed the basic phase training cycle and has begun training exercises in preparation for their upcoming deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.