USS Paul Hamilton
"The Courage to Prevail"
USS Paul Hamilton Holds Change of Command 2019
Cmdr. Mark W. Lawrence receives his command at sea pin from his children during a change of command ceremony June 14 aboard guided missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) at Naval Base San Diego. Lawrence relieved Cmdr. Edward P. Bertucci as commanding officer of Paul Hamilton. Bertucci served as the CO from December 2017 until June 2019, bringing the ship out of dry dock and back to full operational capacity. (U.S. Navy photo byOS2 (SW) Amanda Gunn)

Cmdr. Mark W. Lawrence relieved Cmdr. Edward P. Bertucci as commanding officer of USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) in a June 14 ceremony aboard the ship at Naval Base San Diego.

Bertucci served as Paul Hamilton’s commanding officer since December 2017, bringing the ship out of dry dock and back to full operational capacity.

“It is a significant achievement to breathe life back into a ship,” said Bertucci. “We did it because of what I have known since the day I stepped aboard three years ago: our officers and crew are individually special and collectively spectacular.”

During his time in command, Bertucci led Paul Hamilton to three straight Retention Excellence Awards and multiple awards for operational excellence. Bertucci departs Paul Hamilton to become Carrier Strike Group 9’s operations officer.

Lawrence initially served as Paul Hamilton’s executive officer from August 2017 until February, when he departed for the prospective commanding officer course. Following the prospective commanding officer course, Lawrence “fleeted” up from executive officer to commanding officer.

“Shipmates, I am honored to serve alongside you once again, and I can’t wait to get started," said Lawrence. He went on to observe that “the ‘Phantom Warriors’ possess a remarkable will to fight that will carry this destroyer forward and bring her home safely when the mission is complete."

Previously, Lawrence served aboard USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) as weapons officer, combat systems officer, and senior watch officer. Ashore, Lawrence served as the director for NATO and European strategic affairs on the National Security Council in the White House, as the Navy’s federal executive fellow to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as the speechwriter to the 29th chief of naval operations.

Stationed in San Diego, Paul Hamilton’s mission areas include ballistic missile defense, anti-air/surface/subsurface warfare, and cyber warfare.

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