PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Capt. Herman A. Shelanski assumed command of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) July 28 when he relieved Capt. James P. Gigliotti to become the fifth commanding officer of the ship in the CNATTU (Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training) Hangar aboard Naval Air Station Oceana.
In a fairly unique situation, Gigliotti is switching positions with Shelanski. Shelanski is coming from U.S. Joint Forces Command, where he served as executive assistant to Air Force Gen. Lance Smith. Gigliotti now reports to U.S. Joint Forces Command, where he will serve as executive assistant to the general.
“I was ecstatic because they actually allowed me to put in a wish list of where I wanted to go, and Truman was at the top of my list," Shelanski said. "I was very, very happy - one, because Truman is one of the great carriers in the United States Navy and the reputation that it has throughout the Navy is fantastic. Not only that, I wanted to be on a carrier that was getting ready to deploy, and I come here at the end of an availability in the shipyard,” Shelanski said. "You now get the ship put back together and then start from the beginning, to help along with the crew to help train up to get ready to deploy. It’s the ideal situation. It’s perfect timing. So I’m very excited about it; for me I couldn’t ask for anything better. The Navy truly honored me by selecting me.”
Gigliotti feels the same way about serving aboard Harry S. Truman.
“I will leave the greatest assignment any naval officer could ever hope to have," he said. "The past two years have come and gone by in a flash, but the memories will be with me forever."
“The best part of this whole experience has been the opportunity to serve with the finest America has to offer,” said Gigliotti. “I leave USS Harry S. Truman knowing we had an impact not just on events in the Arabian Gulf and in the Gulf of Mexico, but on the lives of over 7,500 loyal Sailors who called CVN 75 their home over the past two years."
Shelanski’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, he Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and the Volunteer Service Medal. He has more than 500 carrier landings and 3,000 hours in the E-2C Hawkeye.
Harry S. Truman is currently conducting a dry-docked planned incremental availability (DPIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va., and will return to sea this fall.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.