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Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic

Truman Changes Command

by Petty Officer Second Class Donovan Jarrett
27 August 2021

Studio portrait of Capt. Gavin Duff, Commanding Officer, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Studio portrait of Capt. Gavin Duff, Commanding Officer, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Studio portrait of Capt. Gavin Duff, Commanding Officer, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Commanding Officer, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)
Studio portrait of Capt. Gavin Duff, Commanding Officer, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samuel Tyson
VIRIN: 210719-N-VJ868-0001

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) held a change of command ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay at Naval Station Norfolk, Aug. 27.         

Family, friends and crew members were in attendance to see Capt. Gavin Duff take the helm from Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh as Truman’s commanding officer in a ceremony with guest speaker Rear Adm. Ryan Scholl, the former commander, Carrier Strike Group 8.

"As we operate in these dynamic times, the Navy needs brilliant leaders like Capt. Hakimzadeh,” said Scholl. “With his focus on leadership and dedication to the mission, he has made a lasting positive impression on the Truman and the strike group as a whole. I know I speak for everyone when I thank him for his true commitment and unrelenting fortitude he has bestowed upon the Sailors of his ship and her material readiness."     

During his tenure, Hakimzadeh led Truman through a shipyard maintenance period, workup cycle and a 7-month deployment in support of operations in U.S. 2nd, 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations. During deployment, the strike group made significant contributions in asserting American commitment through dual-carrier operations, air defense exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises, and interoperability with joint services and with allies and partners.

Returning from deployment in June 2020, Hakimzadeh led Truman through a successful Extended Carrier Incremental Availability period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. As evidence of the crew's sustained outstanding performance, Truman earned 2020 Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic CVN Battle Efficiency award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the 2020 Battenberg Cup – among other awards.

"Every commanding officer since Truman's commissioning 23 years ago has fostered a tradition of excellence onboard,” said Hakimzadeh.  “It has been my privilege to join that line of leadership and I hope I have done my small part to maintain that tradition."

As Hakimzadeh, whose next billet is Aircraft Carrier Requirements officer for the Director of Air Warfare (OPNAV N98), thanked the crew for their hard work and dedication, he reminded them there is still work to be done.  

“If there is one thing I know about this crew it is that their resilience will continue to amaze you,” said Hakimzadeh. “There will always be assessments, maintenance, and long periods of time away from home but I am confident they will not only meet the Navy’s expectations – they will exceed them.”

Duff previously served as commanding officer of the “Tophatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, executive officer of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), and commanding officer of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19). A seasoned pilot, Duff has accumulated more than 3,500 flight hours and 900 arrested landings. 

Upon assuming command, Duff expressed his excitement to build on Truman’s reputation.

"This ship and her crew hold the standard for aircraft carriers in the fleet.  I am deeply humbled to be able to join them and serve alongside them as we prepare to deploy,” said Duff. “Every member of this crew is invaluable to the missions at hand and together we will continue to demonstrate the warfighting effectiveness and strength that the Truman team is known for."        

Truman is currently homeported at Naval Station Norfolk and is conducting the work-up cycle in preparation for future operations.

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