by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR - Guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) held a change of command ceremony at the USS Nevada Memorial on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Oct. 28.
Capt. David Hughes relieved Capt. William C. Johnson as commanding officer of USS Lake Erie.
Rear Adm. Joseph Horn, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Program director, served as the guest speaker.
"This ship is more than the premier ballistic missile killer in the United States Navy. In ballistic missile defense testing, Lake Erie accomplished every mission and every task no matter how short-noticed, with pride, professionalism and pinpoint precision, all hallmarks of Capt. Johnson's leadership," Horn said.
Horn also welcomed Hughes as the new commanding officer of Lake Erie.
"Capt. Hughes, you have been a participant of Lake Erie's successes as the executive officer, and I officially welcome you aboard her as the commanding officer," said Horn. "I could not imagine a better qualified leader to take Lake Erie forward."
In his remarks, Johnson spoke about the Sailors who served during his tenure as commanding officer.
"I am most proud of our Sailors' ingenuity, tenacity and never-give-up attitude," Johnson said. "It is absolutely amazing to see these officers, chiefs and Sailors take an idea and turn that idea into material readiness and into professional growth."
After the reading of orders and assuming command of Lake Erie, Hughes took the opportunity to address the audience.
"Over the last 10 months I have been extremely impressed with everything the Sailors of Lake Erie have accomplished, and I consider myself blessed to assume command of a ship with such a strong reputation and rich history," Hughes said.
USS Lake Erie was commissioned July 24, 1993 as the 24th Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser.
U.S. Navy guided-missile cruisers perform primarily in a battle force role. These ships are multi-mission air warfare, undersea warfare, naval surface fire support and surface warfare surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious forces, or of operating independently and as flagships of surface action groups.