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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

USS Winston S. Churchill Holds Change of Command

by Lt j.g. Ethan Baybutt, USS Winston S. Churchill Public Affairs
10 November 2021
The Hon. Rupert Soames, OBE, is pictured with (DDG 81) crew members present for the change of command ceremony.
SLIDESHOW | 3 images | WSC COC The Hon. Rupert Soames, OBE, is pictured with (DDG 81) crew members present for the change of command ceremony.
Cmdr. Brian Anthony relieved Cmdr. Timothy Shanley as commanding officer of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) during a Nov. 10 change of command ceremony at Naval Station Mayport. 
 
Following the ship’s 2019 maintenance availability and a rigorous Basic Phase, Shanley assumed command in May 2020. During his time at the helm, he established a nine month COVID bubble  onboard, led the ship through the Advanced and Integrated Phases, and completed a 7.5 month deployment to 5th and 6th areas of operation.
 
Subsequent to the demanding COVID-19 deployment whereby the DDG 81 crew had zero positive COVID cases, Shanley lead Winston S. Churchill through a very successful Board of Inspection and Survey inspection, and a homeport shift to Naval Station Mayport. His tour concluded with placing the ship into dry dock and commencing the ship’s Depot Modernization period.
 
During Shanley’s tenure, the Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer’s crew was awarded the USS Arizona Memorial Trophy, a two-year award given to the most combat-ready ship in the surface force. 
 
“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this team on [Winston S.] Churchill,” said Shanley. “The team conquered milestone after milestone, ensuring missions were met and that we were able to answer the nation’s call as a front line asset for the United States of America.

“As I told President Trump while we were on deployment, in my job as [Winston S.] Churchill commanding officer, I have been the captain of ‘America’s Away Team.’”  
 
Anthony served as the ship’s executive officer for 18 months before relieving Shanley. Afloat, his initial sea tours were in Norfolk, Va., aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) where he served as several different division officers, and aboard the former USS Halyburton (FFG 40) as the Damage Control Assistant. Subsequent sea tours were in San Diego as the Engineer Officer onboard USS Gridley (DDG 101) and Yokosuka, Japan as the Plans/Exercise Officer at Destroyer Squadron Fifteen (CDS 15), where he worked closely with the Korean Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Navy, and Indian Navy.
 
Ashore, Anthony attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He also served as Deputy Executive Assistant to Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Warfare Systems (N9). Most recently, he served as an operations action officer on the Joint Staff in the J-3.
 
Shortly before the change of command, Anthony expressed his gratitude in assuming his new role as commanding officer.
 
“I am honored and grateful to be entrusted the responsibility to lead the best crew the Navy has to offer. I look forward to the challenges and rewards of commanding the most combat-ready ship in the Navy.”
 
Anthony’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), the Combat Action Ribbon, various service and campaign awards.  
 
Commissioned in 2001, USS Winston S. Churchill received its name from World War II British Prime Minister, Winston S. Churchill. Homeported in Mayport, Fla., the ship is assigned to Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT). It is currently the only United States Navy warship named for a British citizen.
 
SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of nearly 80 ships, 15 pre-commissioning units, and more than 30 shore commands.

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