SANTA RITA, Guam - Capt. Tadd Gorman relieved Capt. George A. Kessler as commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) during a change of command ceremony at U.S. Naval Base Guam, May 30.
The ceremony was held to mark the end of a highly successful 23-month command tour for Kessler. During his time as the commanding officer, Kessler successfully took the ship out of emergency dry dock and led the ship in multinational exercises, such as Multi-Sail 2018, Malabar 2018 and Pacific Vanguard 19.
“There is nothing like ending a command with a successful exercise,” said Rear Adm. Karl Thomas, commander of Task Force 70, during opening remarks. "Pacific Vanguard was another opportunity for your leadership to shine. Thank you for always stepping up to a successful exercise and your team for answering the nation’s calls.”
Kessler said he was thankful, honored and humbled to have commanded Antietam. "The ‘Power to Prevail’ has been our model over the last 2 years. It has been amazing to see the motivated and dedicated crew that is a part of Antietam. You are my family and will always have a home. I wish you fair winds and favorable seas always."
Antietam is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.