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NEWS | Aug. 5, 2022

Task Force 65 and Destroyer Squadron 60 holds Change of Command ceremony

By Lt. j.g. Brinn Hefron, DESRON 60 Public Affairs

Capt. Edward Sundberg relieved Capt. Kyle Gantt as commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 60 and commander, Task Force (CTF) 65 during a waterfront ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, on Aug. 5, 2022.

The ceremony, held aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78), was attended by Spanish Vice Admiral Ignancio Villanueva Serrano, Spanish Fleet Chief of Staff and Captain Isidro Carrara, commander, Spanish Squadron 41, as host nation representatives onboard Naval Station Rota, demonstrating the strong and enduring relationship cultivated between the U.S. and Spanish navies.

Gantt assumed command of DESRON 60 and CTF 65 in August 2021. While in command, he led four destroyers as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) force on multiple patrols throughout the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR/NAVAF) area of operations. Squadron ships in port for the ceremony included USS Porter (DDG 78), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), and USS Ross (DDG 71).

At the ceremony, Gantt spoke to those in attendance and praised the performance of the DESRON 60 force, with an eye toward the squadron’s future accomplishments.

“You will operate, you will become the best in the world at your profession, you will qualify faster than your peers, and you will advance faster than your peers,” said Gantt. “You will be ready. You will be part of a world class team.”

During his tenure, Gantt was integral to the success of the forward deployed ships in the region. He directed numerous multinational exercises and operations, and led from the front deploying assets in the region while Russians invaded Ukraine.

Additionally, he coordinated the rotation of two forward deployed ships, ensuring the continued readiness and presence to support our NATO allies and partners. He put the newest and most capable FDNF-E ship to work right away, sending Paul Ignatius into the Baltic Sea to join the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group.

Sundberg assumed command after serving as Gantt’s deputy at DESRON 60 and CTF 65. He looks forward to leading DESRON 60 and CTF 65 in continuous warfighting readiness through cooperation with European and African allies and partners.

“To the DESRON 60 team, ship’s crews, and families – you are a terrific group of professionals and it has been an absolute pleasure serving with you so far,” said Sundberg. “Your resiliency and tenacious attitude are remarkable in this ever-changing and very demanding FDNF environment. I am truly honored to be allowed to serve with you again.”

Four U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers are based in Rota, Spain and are assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These FDNF-E ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.

For over 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.