Task Force 55 Holds Change of Command

By U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | August 13, 2020

MANAMA, Bahrain – Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 and Commander, Task force (CTF) 55 held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Aug. 13, 2020.

Capt. Christopher Gilbertson relieved Capt. Peter Mirisola as commander of DESRON 50 and CTF 55 in a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.

Malloy talked about Mirisola’s leadership and the importance of the commands’ mission in the region.

“Putting ships to sea to operate absolutely ready in this contested combat zone is a serious responsibility that requires an accomplished and regionally experienced leader,” said Malloy.

During Malloy’s speech he recognized the Sailors and staff of DESRON 50 and CTF 55, and their many accomplishments. These include validating the ability of Army AH-64E attack helicopters to land aboard U.S. naval vessels and standing up Coalition Task Force Sentinel.

The DESRON 50/CTF 55 team accomplished those tasks while managing 10 Cyclone-class patrol coastal ships, 10 cruisers and destroyers, six Coast Guard weapon patrol boats and a Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team.

Mirisola thanked his Sailors and staff before turning over command to Gilbertson.

“When I took command a year ago, I made only one promise – that I would lead with the same passion as the commanders who came before me,” said Mirisola. “It has been the professional honor of my life to serve as Commodore of Destroyer Squadron 50 and Task Force 55. I hope I have lived up to my promise.”

Gilbertson assumed command of both staffs and immediately thanked those in attendance, sharing his vision for the future while in command.

“It is with great humility I take command of Destroyer Squadron 50 and the Sailors and Coast Guardsmen of Task Force 55,” said Gilbertson. “As I follow in the footsteps of many great surface warriors who precede me, I will endeavor to uphold the squadron's legacy and continue to build upon the relationships with our regional partners, supporting NAVCENT's efforts to maintain the freedom of the seas in the region.”

CTF 55 commands surface forces such as U.S. Navy patrol craft, U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats and independently deployed ships in U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, which 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.