USS Gerald R. Ford holds change of command ceremony

Captain Paul Lanzilotta takes command of carrier
USS Gerald R. Ford change of command ceremony
Posted at 2:04 PM, Feb 12, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy's newest aircraft carrier has a new commanding officer.

Captain Paul Lanzilotta became the fourth Commanding Officer of the USS Gerald R. Ford during a change of command ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk Friday.

He relieves Captain J.J. Cummings who took command of Ford in August 2018.

Cummings oversaw a monumental period for the first-in-class aircraft carrier, returning the ship to sea after the post-shakedown availability at Newport News Shipbuilding.

During his time as commanding officer, the Ford's flight deck and air traffic control center were both certified and the ship conducted carrier qualifications for aviators during multiple underway periods.

New Commanding Officer Captain Paul Lanzilotta has served on three different classes of aircraft carrier: Kennedy, Nimitz, and now Ford.

He was previously the Commanding Officer of the USS Arlington and served as the Executive Officer of the USS Ronald Reagan, forward-deployed in Japan.

You can see recent News 3 reporting on the Ford, here, here, and here.

Cummings is slated to begin his next assignment as Chief of Staff at U.S. Second Fleet in Norfolk.