Blue Ridge Changes Command
Story Number: NNS080717-10
Release Date: 7/17/2008 10:13:00 PM
By Story by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Matthew Bradley, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs Office
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Capt. Thom W. Burke relieved Capt. David A. Lausman as USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) commanding officer at an official change of command ceremony held on board the ship July 15.
Lausman served as commanding officer for 15 months and saw the ship and crew through several deployments, inspections and awards.
During his tenure, Blue Ridge earned the Capt. Edward F. Ney Award for best food service on a large deck ship; successfully completed a Board of Inspection and Survey assessment; and earned the Blue "E" for logistics excellence.
Rear Adm. Richard B. Landolt, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 76, presented Lausman with The Legion of Merit at the ceremony.
"This award is not for me but for the crew," said Lausman. "I will think of each and everyone of you and the hard work you have put into this award each time I put it on."
Burke comes from PCU George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) where he served as executive officer. His previous tours include Helicopter Squadron (HS) 8, HS-6, and serving on the joint staff as the desk officer for Central Asia and Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
"I am delighted to have this opportunity to serve in the forward deployed forces. I am also extremely excited about my chance to work with my Japanese colleagues," he said.
Burke is the 22nd captain to hold the title of Blue Ridge commanding officer since the ship was commissioned November 14, 1970.
Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. CTF 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.
For more news from USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), visit www.navy.mil/local/lcc19/.
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