PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) held a change of command ceremony while underway off the coast of Southern California, April 3.
Cmdr. Ryan Billington relieved Cmdr. Amy McInnis during the ceremony.
"I leave knowing that Cmdr. Billington will take good care of this crew and ship," said McInnis. "He is a man of impeccable integrity, tremendous professional knowledge, and he takes care of his people."
McInnis said her success aboard Howard was solely a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the crew to keep the ship combat ready, and said she knows Billington will help take both the ship and the crew to even greater heights of operational and material readiness.
Billington, who is no stranger aboard Howard, served as the ship's executive officer under McInnis' command.
While addressing the crew, Billington spoke about McInnis' strong leadership and the need to stay on the same path.
"We must use the exceptionally sound footing built under Cmdr. McInnis' leadership as a launch pad for future success," said Billington. "We must continue to prepare ourselves and this great ship to fight and win. We must embrace a steady strain approach as we sharpen our skills and prepare to deploy, and that continues today as we sail with the Nimitz strike group."
Billington is Howard's 11th commanding officer.
Howard is currently underway conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in preparation for an upcoming deployment. COMPTUEX tests the mission readiness of the strike group's assets through simulated real-world scenarios and their ability to perform as an integrated unit.
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