By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Robert Winkler, Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO – Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5 Commodore, Capt. Peter J. Brennan turned the helm over to Capt. Humberto L. Quintanilla II at a change of command ceremony held aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) in San Diego, Aug. 22.
Brennan took charge of PHIBRON 5 in January 2009, and during his command, led the five ships and 5,000 Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen of the USS Boxer (LHD 4) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) through intensive operations in the 3rd, 7th, and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility.
The ARG’s success during this arduous extended deployment to the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Gulf, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and regional counter-piracy operations, highlighted Brennan’s leadership abilities. As the composite warfare commander, he directed maritime interdiction operations, amphibious operations, theater security cooperation efforts, and maritime security operations that culminated in the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama from Somali pirates.
He also planned and executed a three-month deployment aboard USS New Orleans in support of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station 2010, making a lasting contribution to future operations and international relations in Mexico, Central America, and South America.
“This has been an extremely rewarding and enjoyable tour, and I am very proud to have worked with the staff of PHIBRON 5,” said Brennan. “The Sailors and Marines have really been about making things happen, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more than that. To end my tour with a deployment to Central and South America has just been the icing on the cake. Building relationships with our partner nations in this region is important work, and I think we’ve made great strides continuing to improve these relationships.”
Brennan feels confident that PHIBRON 5 will have continued success in the hands of Quintanilla.
“The amphibious ships attached to PHIBRON 5 have and will continue to succeed in every endeavor,” said Brennan. “These crews understand the importance of getting ‘Back to Basics,’ and are ready to execute in any fleet area to which they are deployed. I feel good knowing that the PHIBRON is in good hands with Capt. Quintanilla. They will continue to perform at the highest levels and will be ready for whatever comes their way. I wish the crew and its new commodore the best.”
Quintanilla most recently served as deputy commander for PHIBRON 7. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, and enlisted in the Navy in 1978.
“I know Commodore Brennan is leaving behind a great legacy,” said Quintanilla. “I am looking forward to continuing that legacy of excellence and taking PHIBRON 5, and its ships, to the next level of global combat readiness I wish Commodore Brennan continued success in his next duty station and Naval career.”
Brennan received the Legion of Merit for his work as the commander of PHIBRON 5, and will spend his next tour of duty at the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Strategic Studies Group as a CNO Fellow.
He is a native of Peoria, Ill., and graduated from Marquette University in 1982. He was commissioned in October 1986, and designated as a naval aviator in January 1988. Previous assignments include: Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 5, USS Shreveport (LPD 12), HC 8 as commanding officer, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as navigator, and most recently in April 2007 as commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3, before assuming command of PHIBRON 5.
Commander, PHIBRON 5 embarked aboard USS New Orleans as the mission commander of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station, the amphibious portion of Southern Partnership Station, which is a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean. The mission’s primary goal is mission-focused information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region in order to enhance regional maritime capabilities and security.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.