SAN DIEGO -- The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) held a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, Sep 1.
During the ceremony, Cmdr. Brandon J. Burkett relieved Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor as commanding officer.
"This tour has been the pinnacle of my career," said Mainor. "As we all know, our Sailors are our greatest asset. They surpass all expectations each and every time. This crew is the finest group of Sailors I could ever have the honor and privilege of serving."
Mainor assumed command of William P. Lawrence Jun 11, 2015, and led the ship through integrated training and a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific. During the 206-day cruise with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG-3) also known as the Great Green Fleet, Lawrence visited six foreign ports, operated with twenty-six nations, participated in seven multi-lateral and joint operations, and conducted eleven chokepoint transits.
"I'm really proud of all we've accomplished," said Mainor. "I have no doubts that the command will continue to excel under the leadership of Cmdr. Burkett."
Burkett reported to William P. Lawrence in May 2015 as the executive officer and transitioned to commanding officer as part of the Navy’s fleet-up program. The program features an 18-month executive officer tour followed by a commanding officer tour aboard the same ship.
Burkett said the fleet-up program allowed him to become familiar with the crew and the ship before assuming command of William P. Lawrence.
“I’m honored to command such a remarkable crew and to continue the legacy of our namesake,” said Burkett. “William P. Lawrence’s dedication to excellence is evident in each and every member of the crew. This as well as our performance over the past year was a direct reflection of Cmdr. Mainor’s leadership, and I’m privileged to continue the journey with the Lawrence team.”
Commissioned June 4, 2011, Lawrence is named after Vice Adm. William P. Lawrence, a naval aviator, former Vietnam prisoner of war and former commander of U.S. Third Fleet. Assigned to the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG 3), the ship returned from a seven-month deployment Aug. 11 and is conducting a post-deployment Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV) in preparation for sustainment phase training.