Luray native takes command of U.S. Navy warship

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Daxton Moore commission
Cmdr. Daxton Moore salutes as he relieves Cmdr. Evan Wright as commanding officer of littoral combat ship Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) Cooperstown (LCS 23) during a Nov. 29 ceremony in Mayport, Fla. (U.S. Navy photo provided by Information Systems Technician 1st Class Aaron Ruther, photo by Lt. Anthony Junco)

~ PVN staff report

MAYPORT, Fla. — Daxton Moore, a native of Page County, became the commanding officer of the combat ship Cooperstown during a change-of-command ceremony last Tuesday aboard the ship at the U.S. Naval Station in Mayport, Fla.

Commander Moore assumed leadership from Commander Evan Wright of the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) Cooperstown (LCS 23) on Nov. 29, according to an article published by DVIDS (Defense Visual Information Distribution Service).

“While under Wright’s command, Cooperstown successfully completed the initial sail-around from Marinette, Wisconsin, toward their homeport, Mayport, Florida. The transit consisted of navigating through four Great Lakes, 15 Locks, the Weland Canal, the St. Lawrence Seaway — 732 nautical miles of restricted waters and 3,500 nautical miles overall,” the DVIDS article stated.

Commander Moore, who has a home in Luray, previously served as the executive officer aboard Cooperstown.

“I have been amazed at everything this crew has accomplished and I am grateful for this opportunity,” Moore stated in the DVIDS article. “I look forward to continuing to work with the officers, chiefs, and crew as we write the next chapter of Cooperstown’s history.” 

The 3,500-mile journey that the Cooperstown navigated prior to the change of command was no easy feat, according to its outgoing commander.

“I’m extremely proud of my all-star crew, the Heavy Hitters,” said former Commander Wright. “This crew just executed the most challenging nautical voyage on earth! Thank you for your long hours, hard work and loyalty….We are, America’s Away Team!”

Cooperstown was the first pre-commissioned ship to complete the U.S. Fleet Forces Command required force protection exercises earning an outstanding grade. Additionally, Cooperstown completed a Light-Off assessment, earning a score of 99 percent, and quickly certified in several mission areas to include Cyber, Communications, Deck, Medical, Search and Rescue, and Navigation, according to the DVIDS article.

Cooperstown, homeported in Mayport, Fla., is assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 2. LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in NYC in March 2023. 

This article was based on, and sections taken from, the Nov. 29, 2022 article published by DIVIDS.

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