By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Damon Grosvenor
The Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) held a change of command ceremony on the ship’s bridge while in the Baltic Sea, June 15, 2020.
Capt. David Pollard received command from Capt. Cassidy Norman.
Pollard previously served as the executive officer of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
“It is an honor to join the Mount Whitney team,” said Pollard, while speaking to the crew over the ship’s main announcing system. “I am proud to serve alongside such tough, resilient patriots. I want to thank Capt. Norman for his selfless service and dedication to this ship and its amazing crew as the commanding officer. You certainly have set an example for me to emulate.”
Under Norman’s leadership, Mount Whitney earned its second Retention Excellence Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation and the David M. Cook Service Excellence Award in the hybrid afloat category. The ship’s Sailor promotion rates were 23 percent higher than the Navy-wide average across the E4-E6 paygrades. Additionally, he led the ship in exercises Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019, Trident Jupiter 2019, Juniper Cobra 2020, and BALTOPS 2020.
“I am very fortunate to have been able to lead and be a part of the Mount Whitney crew,” said Norman. “We racked up a string of big wins; we achieved every mission we have been assigned. But, even if we hadn’t, I would have been proud of how our team operated.”
Norman’s next tour will be as commanding officer of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Mount Whitney is currently participating in BALTOPS 2020, the 49th consecutive year of one of the largest exercises in Northern Europe. BALTOPS is the premier maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic Region, enhancing flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations.