USS Devastator Holds Change of Command
By USS Devastator Public Affairs
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN - USS Devastator (MCM 6) held a change of command ceremony on Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, Nov. 1.

Lt. Cmdr. Dawn T. Ricketts relieved Lt. Cmdr. Chavius G. Lewis as commanding officer (CO) of Devastator as well as MCM Crew Conflict.

The ceremony marked the end of a 20-month command tour for Lewis.  He led USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USS Ardent (MCM 12), and Devastator through a heavy lift from San Diego to Manama, Bahrain, and two deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

During the deployment, the Devastator crew interacted extensively with several foreign navies in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).  They conducted port visits throughout the AOR and in Djibouti during the 2012 deployment.

During this period, MCM Crew Conflict received the Calendar Year 2012 Battle Efficiency Award and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Safety Award.  During deployment, MCM Crew Conflict participated in USS Ponce TRIAD Integration Operations, International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 2012, and U.S./U.K. Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2013.  MCM Crew Conflict spearheaded the Djibouti mine shape recovery operations alongside MCM Crew Leader during the 2012 deployment.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve aboard USS Pioneer, USS Ardent, and USS Devastator,” said Lewis.  “I’ve never worked with a better crew, and I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments.  This has been one of my most rewarding tours.  I can’t imagine a more important job in the Navy.”

Lewis’ next tour will be as Surface Mine Warfare Program Officer at OPNAV N95 (Expeditionary Warfare) in Arlington, Va.

Ricketts is a 2002 graduate of the University of San Diego and earned her master’s degree in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego.  She completed sea tours aboard USS Stethem (DDG 63) as Combat Information Center Officer, USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) as Training Officer, and USS Dewey (DDG 105) as Operations Officer.  She has served as Executive Officer of MCM Crew Conflict since March 2012.

“I am very excited to be the CO of Devastator,” said Ricketts.  “We have a great crew and I look forward to helping to carry on the traditions of this great ship and crew.”

Devastator, assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 52, is forward-deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR and is currently conducting a restricted availability.

The U.S. 5th Fleet AOR encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, North Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea.  The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

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