USS Port Royal Holds Change of Command on board Battleship Missouri Memorial
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – The officers and crew of USS Port Royal (CG 73) held a change of command ceremony aboard the historic Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Oct. 31.
During the ceremony, the Port Royal crew bid farewell to Capt. Eric F. Weilenman and welcomed aboard Capt. Aldolfo H. Ibarra as commanding officer.
The ceremony marked the end of a highly successful 43-month major command tour for Weilenman, one of the longest tours of an officer in command of a warship in recent history.
Weilenman led Port Royal on a seven month independent Ballistic Missile Defense deployment, serving as Ballistic Missile Defense Commander in U.S. Fifth and Seventh Fleet Areas of Operation. He also commanded the ship during two Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) International Exercises, RIMPAC 2012 and RIMPAC 2014, as well as numerous local operations.
“This crew performed superbly in challenging times, setting the bar high for those who will follow,” said Weilenman.
As part of the ceremony, Weilenman was awarded the Legion of Merit by Rear Adm. Rick Williams, Commander Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. His next assignment will be in Pearl Harbor, as Chief of Staff for Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.
Ibarra assumes command as Port Royal begins a maintenance period in preparation for follow on training cycle and future deployment. After reading his orders and assuming command, Ibarra addressed the crew, and thanked them for their service.
Port Royal is the 27th and final Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, the ultimate Aegis cruiser. Port Royal is named for two strategic battles that took place during the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War in the waters of Port Royal Sound in South Carolina.