By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dawson Roth
| June 02, 2019
Task force (TF) 53 held a change of command ceremony May 30, 2019, on Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
Capt. Michael B. O’Driscoll relieved Capt. Timothy M. Gibboney as commander of TF 53 in the ceremony, presided by Vice Adm. James J. Malloy, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
During the ceremony, Malloy commented on the importance of TF 53 in the region.
“When we break down battle readiness and sustainability in this region the first thing that I think of is our surface fleet,” said Malloy. “From the experience of a DESRON commander I will tell you, Task Force 53 means sustainment and combat readiness for our ships. Without 53 our forward deployed naval force and assigned ships would be ‘static displays’ on the pier.”
In his speech, Malloy listed some of TF 53’s accomplishments under Gibboney’s leadership including the use of 20 different Combat Logistics Force assets to complete 1,030 replenishments-at-sea to deliver 220 million gallons of fuel; 60 thousand pallets of food; cargo and ammunition to five carrier strike groups and four amphibious readiness groups.
Before relinquishing command, Gibboney thanked the Sailors, families and supporting members involved in his command.
“Standing here before all of you after a successful command tour is about saying thank you to those that made it possible,” said Gibboney.
After accepting command of TF 53 O’Driscoll thanked everyone for coming to the ceremony and spoke about his command philosophy.
“Showing that I can adapt and change, I have modified my previous command philosophy from two pages to four bullets,” said O’Driscoll. “Be good. Do good work. Do the right thing. Find and maintain ‘me’ time.”
TF 53 coordinates replenishment-at-sea efforts and delivers passengers, mail, cargo, ammunition, provisions and fuel throughout the 5th Fleet area of operations via air, land and sea modes, helping to ensure Sailors aboard ships have what they need to complete their missions.
The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The region is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-al-Mandeb at the Southern tip of Yemen.