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DESRON 40 Changes Command

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100426-09

By Lt. Christopher R. Brown, Destroyer Squadron 40 Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40 held a change of command ceremony at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., April 23.

Capt. Brian C. Nickerson relieved Capt. Rodelio Laco of command of DESRON 40.

Rear Adm. Victor Guillory, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO)/U.S. 4th Fleet, was the guest speaker for the ceremony, which was held outside his headquarters at Naval Station Mayport.

"For the past two years, a very talented officer, Capt. Rudy Laco, has led the dedicated men and women of DESRON 40 in the superb execution of four successful deployments," said Guillory. "Starting today another very talented officer, Capt. Brian Nickerson, will begin to lead the staff to continued success."

Laco will become the chief of staff for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Virginia Beach, Va.

Laco thanked DESRON 40 staff members.

"In the past two years I have had the opportunity to execute four outstanding deployments - Partnership of the Americas 2008, Southern Seas 2009, which included UNITAS Gold and PANAMAX 2009, Amphibious Southern Partnership Station 2009 with USS Wasp (LHD 1) and most recent, leading the Comfort Task Group during Operation Unified Response-Haiti," said Laco. "Our time in Haiti was the highlight of my career and something that I will always be proud of. To me, collectively these deployments exemplify the Navy's Maritime Strategy."

Nickerson is coming from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, where he served as the section head for the campaign analysis section/assessment division.

The new DESRON 40 commander addressed his staff at the ceremony.

"Your accomplishments over the past two years have been impressive," said Nickerson. "We will remain ready to execute all tasking while continuing to build bridges with neighbors and allies in U.S. Southern Command's Area of Responsibility (AOR)."

DESRON 40 is tasked with the planning and execution of multinational and bilateral naval exercises associated with the annual Southern Seas deployment as part of U.S. Southern Command's (SOUTHCOM) Partnership of the Americas strategy. Conducted annually, Southern Seas emphasizes interoperability and cooperation among Caribbean, Central American and South American partner nations.

Leading Task Group 40.0, DESRON 40 is currently executing Southern Seas 2010. This year's deployment includes the guided-missile frigate USS Klakring (FFG 42) with embarked Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42, Detachment 10.

NAVSO is the naval component command for SOUTHCOM and is responsible for all naval personnel and assets in the AOR. NAVSO conducts a variety of missions in support of the Maritime Strategy, including theater security cooperation, relationship building, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, community relations and counter-illicit trafficking operations.

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