SAN DIEGO – Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 held a change of command ceremony at Naval Base San Diego Oct. 12. Capt. John Steinberger passed command of DESRON 1 to Capt. Michael Elliott.
The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 18-month command tour for Steinberger. Leading DESRON 1 through two deployments with Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group in the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation, the squadron supported Operation Enduring Freedom and interacted extensively with several foreign navies. The squadron was also an integral part of MALABAR 12, a bilateral exercise with the Indian Navy, and the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, ensuring Pacific Ocean nations’ fishing rights were enforced.
As Commodore, Steinberger served as the “immediate superior in command” for eight warships, the destroyers USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), and USS Stockdale (DDG 106), as well as the frigates USS Gary (FFG 51), USS McClusky (FFG 41), and USS Rentz (FFG 46).
“It has been a great honor to lead the officers and Sailors in Destroyer Squadron 1,” said Steinberger, a native of Lindenwold, N. J. “I am very proud of the entire squadron and my superb staff, and can’t wait to see the great things they accomplish in the future. Command is all too fleeting and this tour more so than most for me – I will sincerely miss them all.” Steinberger’s next tour will be as director of training at Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command in San Diego.
Elliott, incoming Commodore, is a 1983 graduate of the University of Alabama, earning a commission in 1987 through the Officer Candidate School in Newport, R. I. He completed sea tours aboard USS Peoria (LST 1183) as navigator and operations officer, USS Gettysburg (CG 64) as fire control officer, and USS Shiloh (CG 67) as weapons officer and combat systems officer. He served as executive officer aboard USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81), and during his most recent sea tour, was the commanding officer of USS Doyle (FFG 39). Following his command tour, Elliott served as force operations officer and as executive assistant to Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet prior to reporting to DESRON 1 as deputy commodore in August, 2011.
“I am very excited to be the commodore of DESRON 1,” said Elliott. “We have a great squadron of ships and I look forward to helping to carry on the traditions of this great Navy.”
DESRON 1 is part of Carrier Strike Group 1 and is scheduled to deploy with Carl Vinson Strike Group in 2014.
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/SurfaceWarriors
; and on Twitter, @surfacewarriors.