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USS Cape St. George Changes Command at Sea
By USS Cape St. George (CG 71) Public Affairs


SAN DIEGO - USS Cape St. George (CG 71) held a change of command ceremony at sea on Sept. 27. Capt. Patrick C. Rabun turned over command of the guided missile cruiser to Capt. William D. Byrne, Jr.

The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 18-month command tour for Rabun. He led Cape through a deployment with Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. During the deployment, the crew interacted extensively with several foreign navies in both Fifth and Seventh Fleet areas of operation. The change of command comes as Cape ends an extensive maintenance period including a $10.5 million Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) and Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV) in preparation for its next deployment.

During this period, Cape received the first ever Gigabyte Ethernet LAN coupled with the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services Early Adopter install, which serves as the test platform for the Navy.

(PROPOSED QUOTE) “It has been an honor and privilege to serve aboard Cape St. George,” said Rabun. “I’ve never worked with a better crew, and I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments. This has been one of my most rewarding tours. I can’t imagine a more important job in the Navy.” Rabun’s next tour will be as Cruiser Class Squadron Commander in San Diego.

Capt. Byrne, incoming commanding officer, is a 1987 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and earned his master’s degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2004. Byrne completed sea tours aboard USS Cook (FF 1083) as Gunnery Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant, USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) as Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer, and USS Vincennes (CG 49) as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer. He served as Executive Officer aboard USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and during his most recent sea tour, he was the Commanding Officer of USS Halyburton (FFG 40). 

ST GEORGE 2-2-2

(PROPOSED QUOTE) “I am very excited to be the CO of Cape St. George,” said Byrne. “We have a great crew and I look forward to helping to carry on the traditions of this great ship.”  USS Cape St. George is part of Carrier Strike Group Nine and is scheduled to deploy with Abraham Lincoln Strike Group in 2010.

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