By Ensign W. Kirk Wolff, USS Paul Hamilton Public Affairs
Cmdr. Mark W. Lawrence relieved Cmdr. Edward P. Bertucci as commanding officer of USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) in a June 14 ceremony aboard the ship at Naval Base San Diego.
Bertucci served as Paul Hamilton’s commanding officer since December 2017, bringing the ship out of dry dock and back to full operational capacity.
“It is a significant achievement to breathe life back into a ship,” said Bertucci. “We did it because of what I have known since the day I stepped aboard three years ago: our officers and crew are individually special and collectively spectacular.”
During his time in command, Bertucci led Paul Hamilton to three straight Retention Excellence Awards and multiple awards for operational excellence. Bertucci departs Paul Hamilton to become Carrier Strike Group 9’s operations officer.
Lawrence initially served as Paul Hamilton’s executive officer from August 2017 until February, when he departed for the prospective commanding officer course. Following the prospective commanding officer course, Lawrence “fleeted” up from executive officer to commanding officer.
“Shipmates, I am honored to serve alongside you once again, and I can’t wait to get started,” said Lawrence. He went on to observe that “the ‘Phantom Warriors’ possess a remarkable will to fight that will carry this destroyer forward and bring her home safely when the mission is complete.”
Previously, Lawrence served aboard USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) as weapons officer, combat systems officer, and senior watch officer. Ashore, Lawrence served as the director for NATO and European strategic affairs on the National Security Council in the White House, as the Navy’s federal executive fellow to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as the speechwriter to the 29th chief of naval operations.
Stationed in San Diego, Paul Hamilton’s mission areas include ballistic missile defense, anti-air/surface/subsurface warfare, and cyber warfare.
For more information on USS Paul Hamilton, please visit: https://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg60/Pages/default.aspx