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USS Constitution gets a new commander during Friday ceremony

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BOSTON — The U.S.S. Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat, has a new commander.

Cmdr. Robert Gerosa (juh-ROE'-suh) Jr. took command of the vessel from Cmdr. Sean Kearns during a special ceremony on Friday.

Gerosa, of New Rochelle, New York, is a 1995 graduate of Providence College.

He has been involved in NATO operations during the Kosovo campaign; helped provide radar protection to New York City and Washington following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; and conducted humanitarian relief after Hurricane Katrina.

The commander's duties are to protect, promote and preserve the ship and oversee a crew of about 75 active-duty sailors.

Kearns, who's been commander since 2013, is getting a promotion.

Old Ironsides, built in 1797, is in dry dock for a multiyear restoration project, and remains open to the public.

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