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NEWS | May 20, 2020

USS Roosevelt Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Ensign Amy Skaggs, Public Affairs Officer, USS Roosevelt (DDG 80)

Cmdr. Ryan Kendall relieved Cmdr. Matthew Molmer as commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) during a small change of command ceremony aboard the ship at Naval Station Rota, Spain, May 18, 2020.

Molmer has been in command of Roosevelt since Nov. 12, 2018. During his tenure, Roosevelt conducted Surface Action Group operations with USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Porter (DDG 78), USNS Supply (T-AOE-6), and Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent (F78) above the Arctic Circle; participated in exercise Formidable Shield 2019; and visited Cherbourg, France, to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

“Cmdr. Molmer did an outstanding job as commanding officer, and I am excited to take the reins as we complete our transition to Rota as the U.S. 6th Fleet’s newest, most capable destroyer,” said Kendall. “The ship has already made its mark in the region by working alongside our partners and allies during exercises and operations, and we look forward to continuing these partnerships.”

Kendall is a 2001 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. His previous tours include Engineering Officer in USS Preble (DDG 88), Engineering Assessor in Engineering Assessments Pacific, Executive Assistant to the Director of Strategy and Policy (N51) on the OPNAV Staff, and an Asia Region Strategist on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Prior to taking command, he served as Roosevelt’s Executive Officer.

Roosevelt, named after 32nd president Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, is replacing the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) in the first of several scheduled homeport shifts to occur in support of the U.S. Navy’s long-range plan to gradually rotate the four Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) destroyers based out of Rota, Spain.

Roosevelt arrived in U.S. 6th Fleet April 14, following her departure from her previous homeport of Mayport, Florida, March 21. Prior to transiting the Atlantic, Roosevelt took a variety of coronavirus-related precautions to ensure the crew arrived in the European theater safe and healthy.

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.