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Vesely Takes Command of Forrest Sherman

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070221-15
Release Date: 2/21/2007 5:20:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Recruit Justan K. Williams, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Atlantic

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) held their first change of command ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk on Feb. 16, where Cmdr. Dean Vesely relieved Cmdr. Michael Van Durick as commanding officer.

The 48th ship in the Arleigh Burke-class of Aegis guided-missile destroyers, Forrest Sherman was officially commissioned an United States ship at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., Jan. 26, 2006.

“As I step down I know the crew of the Sherman will step up and allow this ship to be a prone leader in the fleet,” said Van Durick.

Capt. Clifford Sharp, commander, Destroyer Squadron 2, was the guest speaker at the ceremony and spoke about the good work ethic and value of service Sherman Sailors have displayed.

“Newly commissioned, the ship did an eight-week work up in six weeks. [Forrest Sherman] is squared away and ready to deploy,” said Sharp.

Vesely graduated from the University of Colorado in 1988, earning a Bachelor of Science in architectural engineering. He served as assistant 1st lieutenant and reactor division officer during his shore tour at Naval Surface Force Pacific Fleet. He also served as commanding officer of the mine countermeasures ship USS Scout (MCM 8), which included deployment to the Mediterranean Sea in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other assignments.

“I am the luckiest man in the Navy, I am the new commanding officer of this ship,” said Vesely.

Van Durrick departed the Sherman with a final farewell.

“Go forth with the relentless fighting spirit. May God bless this ship and all that set sail,” he said.

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