NEWS | Oct. 19, 2017

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) Conducts Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold

Spain (Oct. 27, 2017) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) held a change of command at the fleet landing on Naval Station Rota, Spain, Oct. 19, 2017.

Cmdr. Timothy Moore former commanding officer of the USS Donald Cook, gave command to Cmdr. Matt Caldwell in a regularly scheduled change of command. The ceremony was attended by the crew of the Donald cook and was presided over by Capt. Tate Westbrook Commodore Task Force 65.

“The Forward Deployed Naval Forces Europe destroyers uphold the highest operational tempo of the fleet and todays ceremony honors one of the best commanding officers we have here in Rota,” said Capt. Tate Wesbrook Commodore Task Force 65. ”Cmdr. Moore has delivered superior performance to his ship and crew while maintaining his primary focus of getting the mission done while keeping the crew and their families close in mind.”

Cmdr. Timothy Moore was the commanding officer of USS Donald Cook from April of 2016 to October of 2017.

"It was an absolute honor to lead over 300 gifted and hardworking Sailors in a highly dynamic area of operations,” said Cmdr. Timothy Moore, former commanding officer of USS Donald Cook. “As I look back over the many successful accomplishments of Donald Cook, it is difficult to say farewell to such a wonderful team. Throughout every demanding operation, assessment, and exercise the crew has persevered and displayed steadfast resiliency. They have performed brilliantly and have so much to be proud of. I know they will continue to do their best and I am truly humbled to have served as Commanding Officer of USS Donald Cook."

The process for selection to become the captain of a destroyer is called being fleeted up.  This means that when you become the executive officer of a command the next step will be commanding officer.  This allows for senior officers to learn and become accustomed to the ship they will lead.

"It is absolutely an honor and privilege to be assuming command of the USS Donald Cook,” said Cmdr. Matt Powel.  “I look forward to continue service in the 6th Fleet AOR with such a professional and highly dynamic crew.  I can’t thank Cmdr. Moore enough for his leadership over the last 18 months and wish him fair winds and following seas and he ends his highly successful command tour."

The current executive officer and future commanding officer Cmdr. Kelley Jones, will have had the opportunity to work with two different commanding officers during her tenure on Donald Cook.

“It has been truly a great honor to work for Captain Tim Moore,” said Cmdr. Kelley Jones, executive officer USS Donald Cook.  “I have learned so much in a short three months by watching him lead from the front.  Over these past three years he has been committed to the success of Donald Cook and the mission set in FDNF-E.  Donald Cook has been very successful and accomplished the nearly impossible during his watch.  We hope to carry on the tradition by keeping the bar high and the crew safe under new leadership.  Donald Cook wishes Captain Moore fair winds and following seas!

The change of command is providing a short break for the crew of USS Donald Cook but the patrol is not over.  The ship plans to return to sea with her new CO and continue working toward the stability in the U. S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.