Mullica Hill Native Assumes Command of USS Dewey

SAN DIEGO – The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Base San Diego Oct. 18.

Cmdr. Neil Gabriel is pinned with his command at sea pin by his wife, Cathy, at USS Dewey’s (DDG 105) change of command ceremony. During the ceremony, Gabriel relieved Cmdr. Paul Lorio as the ship’s commanding officer. DDG vessels are high-speed, agile, long-endurance surface combatants designed for protecting and escorting Aircraft Carriers, yet fully capable of operating solo or with other ship classes (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist Second class Jason K. Isaacs)

Cmdr. Neil Gabriel of Mullica Hill assumed command of Dewey, relieving Cmdr. Paul Lorio who led Dewey as the ship’s seventh commanding officer from June 2018 to October 2019.

During his tenure, Dewey completed multinational exercises partnering with Japan and the Republic of Korea and conducted more than 20 hours of active anti-submarine warfare tracking during the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group sustainment exercise. Dewey also won the Spokane Award and the Battle “E” during Lorio’s time aboard the ship.

As the air and missile defense commander for Expeditionary Strike Group 3, Dewey assisted in the development of tactics, techniques and procedures for integrating the Joint Strike Fighter as an operational asset, test firing hyper-velocity projectiles, Nulka decoys, and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Gabriel assumed command of Dewey in accordance with the Navy’s fleet-up program after serving as the ship’s executive officer for 18 months. He graduated from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences, and a master’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Delaware. He was commissioned through the officer candidate school program in October 2001.

At sea, Gabriel served aboard USS Chafee (DDG 90) as a signals warfare officer and assistant operations officer. His department head tours were aboard USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) as operations officer and as combat systems officer aboard USS Monterey (CG 61).

“It is an honor to become the eighth Commanding Officer of USS Dewey. This ship, crew, and namesake have a rich history and strong reputation, and to be a part of this legacy is a great reward,” said Gabriel. Photo Caption:  Cmdr. Neil Gabriel is pinned with his command at sea pin by his wife, Cathy, at USS Dewey’s (DDG 105) change of command ceremony.

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