MANAMA, Bahrain -- With its railings dressed and signal flags proudly displayed, the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Gladiator (MCM 11) hosted a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, July 11.
Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca E. Wolf relieved Lt. Cmdr. Roosevelt B. White as Gladiator’s commanding officer in a ceremony pier side of the ship.
“To the crew of USS Gladiator, I am truly amazed at everything we have accomplished over the past 15 months,” said White. “We faced a lot of adversity, and I would not be standing here today if it were not for your commitment to excellence and service.”
Gladiator, one of four mine countermeasures ships forward deployed to Bahrain and attached to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's (NAVCENT) TF 52, is a mine sweeper/hunter-killer capable of finding, classifying and destroying moored and bottom mines in U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
Before relieving White as commanding officer, Wolf served as Gladiator's executive officer (XO), so the transition was almost seamless.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better XO,” said White. “Command can be lonely, but I never felt alone because of the caliber of officer you are. I am excited for you to begin your journey as commanding officer.”
After accepting charge of the ship, Wolf’s mother and father tacked the Command-at-Sea pin onto her uniform.
"To the Gladiators standing before me and those standing the watch, I have been impressed by the success of your teamwork as I have seen what we accomplish together," said Wolf. "You set the professional and personal standards, you communicate honestly and you treat each other with respect. As Gladiators we have purpose, strength and fortitude. You are an unstoppable force, and I stand here honored, privileged and proud to serve as your commanding officer."
TF 52 is the mine countermeasures force of U.S. 5th Fleet. It operates regularly to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the Arabian Gulf, one of the world's most critical bodies of water for international maritime traffic.
U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. 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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For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.