Commander Michael Vecerkauskas was relieved as commanding officer, Riverine Squadron TWO by Commander Robert Smith in a merger ceremony that disestablished Riverine Squadron TWO and Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron TWO and established Coastal Riverine Squadron TWO on Aug. 1. RIVRON TWO was an expeditionary Riverine force conducting littoral security, disaster relief and combat operations throughout the world. During his time as commanding officer, Vecerkauskas led more than 200 men on deployments to the Persian Gulf, Central and South America and Africa. RIVRON TWO acted as one of the first units on scene following Hurricane Sandy, providing waterway surveys, infrastructure support and reconnaissance along the New Jersey and New York shore. Vecerkauskas has served in the Navy for 28 years. A native of Wilkes Barre, he enlisted in the Navy in 1985 in the Navy’s Nuclear Power Program. In 1995 he was commissioned as an officer in the first class of the Seaman to Admiral program at Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. He has served on nuclear submarines, cruisers, amphibious ships and Aegis destroyers. His last tour was as executive officer of USS BULKELEY, where he deployed to the Middle East and Africa, conducting counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations. His next assignment is in the operations directorate in US Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.
Navy Seaman Recruits William Y. Ackerman and David L. Mawson recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill. During the eight-week program, Ackerman and Mawson completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness. The capstone event of boot camp is Battle Stations. This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. Ackerman, a 2012 graduate of Dallas Senior High School, is the son of William J. Ackerman, Dallas. Mawson, a 2012 graduate of Pittston Area High School, is the son of Kelly M. and David L. Mawson, Avoca.
Navy Seaman Recruit Brian P. Deluca, son of Phillip Deluca, Dallas, along with other sailors stationed aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) departed Naval Station, Norfolk, Va., marking the start of the ship’s eight-to-nine month deployment to the Arabian Gulf. The current deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of forward-deployed forces to support maritime security operations in the U.S. sixth and fifth fleet areas of operations. Deluca is a 2011 graduate of Dallas Senior High School.