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News ArticleCS
NEWS | April 17, 2024

Destroyer Squadron 60 and Task Force 65 Conduct Change of Command Ceremony

By Lt Jacob Singleterry, DESRON 60 Public Affairs

Capt. Ed Sundberg was relieved by Capt. Alex Mamikonian as Commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 60 and Commander, Task Force (CTF) 65 on April 16th, 2024 in a ceremony presided over by Rear Adm. Chase Patrick, deputy commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet.  

Commander in Chief of the Spanish Fleet, Adm. Eugenio Díaz del Río, was also in attendance, and Cdr. Alfredo Saco, Commander, Numancia (F83), conducted the Bastón de Mando ceremony, a Spanish tradition that signifies the passing of responsibility between the outgoing and incoming Commanders.

Capt. Sundberg assumed command of DESRON 60 and CTF 65 in August 2022, after previously serving as Deputy Commodore. During his tenure, he led four guided missile destroyers as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) squadron through a combined twelve patrols, completing critical operations and strengthening interoperability with allies and partners in the region.

While in command, Capt. Sundberg coordinated responses for several crises, including the ongoing Russian-Ukraine War, the evacuation of American citizens in Sudan, and the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

Additionally, he was instrumental in the successful homeport shift of USS Bulkeley, and he pioneered important operations with key strategic allies in the theater, including France, Sweden, and Finland.

“Our ships have continually answered the call as the Navy’s forward-deployed forces, and will continue to do so in the future, regardless of what challenges arise,” Capt. Sundberg said, praising the ability of the ships to remain flexible and accomplish the mission.

Capt. Alex Mamikonian’s experience includes command of USS Wayne E. Meyer, and operations with NATO Allies and Partners, having previously served as the Naval Armaments Cooperation Officer for the U.S. mission to NATO. Capt. Mamikonian looks forward to leveraging that experience as Commodore, DESRON 60 and Commander, Task Force 65.

“This DESRON has demonstrated the ability to respond quickly and effectively to any and all challenges,” Capt. Mamikonian said. “As global challenges continue to evolve, I will ensure that our team has all the tools necessary to continue to perform at the highest levels.”

Destroyer Squadron 60 is based in Rota, Spain and is comprised of four Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. These ships execute a wide spectrum of naval operations throughout the region and operate alongside European and African Allies and Partners.

For more than 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our Allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European  Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.

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