JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - The guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) held a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, April 3.
Chosin bid farewell to Capt. David J. Sheridan and welcomed Capt. Patrick Kelly as the ship's new commanding officer, in a ceremony at the pier.
Commander, Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific, Rear. Adm. Frank Ponds was the honored guest and key speaker during the ceremony.
In his speech, Ponds commended Sheridan for a job well done as the commanding officer of Chosin since March 2010.
"You leave a tremendous legacy," said Ponds.
"In a few moments you will witness the exchange of salutations and circumstance," said Ponds to those gathered. "The words 'I relieve you,' signals to Capt. Sheridan a job well done. For Capt. Kelly, this signals the beginning of a new chapter in his career. One that I'm sure he eagerly anticipates."
Sheridan was the Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer aboard Chosin during an Arabian Gulf and Western Pacific deployment several years ago.
"I've been fortunate to have two of the best tours of my career on this ship, one as a department head under the tutelage of Capt. Dennis Dean," said Sheridan. "Now I'm back here again as captain. Capt. Dean I'm proud to report that the War Dragon is back and in fighting shape. I've done my best to pass on all those lessons you taught me to the next generation."
Sheridan said that Chosin has been a workhorse cruiser on Pearl Harbor for the last two decades with eight major deployments.
"As they say she's been rode hard and she is rough around the edges, but like her namesake, the War Dragon has the reputation of being the ship that gets the job done," said Sheridan. "It's been an honor and privilege to serve with all of you. Thank you for coming to day and supporting me in the effort to bring Chosin back where she belongs, a war dragon breathing fire at the tip of the spear."
After Sheridan's speech, the two captains read their orders and exchanged salutes as Kelly took over command of Chosin.
"USS Chosin's history draws its story spanning of two decades," said Kelly. "I am deeply honored to be in command of this mighty warship."
Kelly, a native of New Jersey, has served aboard USS Hayler (DD 997), USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Hurricane (PC 3) as commanding officer, USS Mitscher (DDG 57) as executive officer and USS Momsen as commanding officer. He has also been an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy.