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Capt. James Driscoll took command of the Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron One from Capt. Edward C. Zurey last week.

The change of command for the commodores — the Navy’s title for officers commanding a squadron of ships — took place Friday on board the MV 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo off the coast of Astakos, Greece.

The squadron remains in the 6th Fleet area of operations year-round, mainly sailing in the Mediterranean. It is is made up of the Bobo, the USNS Lance Cpl. Roy M. Wheat, and the MV Tech Sgt. John A. Chapman.

The squadron’s three ships are crewed mainly by Military Sealift Command merchant mariners and a handful of Navy sailors. The ships carry equipment for the Marine Corps’ combined Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and the cargo varies in size and inventory depending on missions.

The noncombatant cargo ships have taken on quasi-military roles, as the Wheat did during the Baltic Operations 2006 exercises by providing “a friendly environment” for NATO members to practice ship-boarding maneuvers, said Capt. Don Pigott, the Bobo’s civilian skipper.

Driscoll reports to the squadron from serving as the director of operations and plans at the MSC headquarters in Washington, D.C. Zurey, who had assumed command June 30, 2005, departed for duty as a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps professor of naval science at the University of Michigan.

MSC operates three maritime prepositioning squadrons. Squadrons Two and Three are based in the Indian and Pacific oceans.


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