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The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) held a change of command ceremony in the ship's pilot house, Feb 25.
Capt. Gavin Duff was relieved by Capt. J. Patrick Thompson III as the commanding officer of Mesa Verde in a ceremony attended by several distinguished visitors, guests and crew.
“Any accolades I receive are simply a reflection of your excellence – the brilliance which resides in each and every one of you radiating out because of who you are,” said Duff. “A ship is nothing without the crew who makes her sail, and this ship is great because you invest in one another - coaching, teaching, mentoring and developing one another as leaders and experts – never stop doing that and no one will ever be able to stop you.”
Duff assumed command of Mesa Verde Nov. 7, 2019 and successfully led the “Ghost Gator” through an extended docking phased planned maintenance availability (DPMA) and Continuous Maintenance availability (CMAV).
“Whether your sphere of influence is 2, 22 or 220 is irrelevant – what matters is that each leader is striving to do what is right, in accordance with procedures based on a solid technical understanding and when those first two become a struggle that we demonstrate the humility to seek the right answer from the right expert.”
During his remarks, Capt. Thompson expressed his excitement to be able to lead the crew of Mesa Verde back out to sea after a completion of the maintenance phase and thanked Capt. Duff for his unwavering dedication and hard work as he guided the ship on a path for future success.
“I look forward to leading this great crew as we bring Mesa Verde out of the Maintenance Phase and into the Basic Phase,” Thompson said. “Capt. Duff laid the foundations for our future success, and I wish him the best as he moves on to take command of the Truman.”
Thompson is a native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Architecture. He holds a master’s degree in Systems Analysis and National Security/Strategic Studies.
Thompson’s aviation tours include assignments with Helicopter Squadron (HSC) 4, HSC-84 and HSC-14.
Additionally, he served as the executive officer of USS John C. Stennis and HSC-85, and as the commanding officer of HSC-85.
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