SAN DIEGO – The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) held a change of command ceremony in the ship’s bridge with Capt. John Deehr relieving Capt. James T. Cox.
“Commanding Peleliu was, is, and will always be my greatest honor,” said Cox. “It has been a privilege to be part of the best deck ‘amphib’ on the waterfront.”
Cox assumed command of Peleliu Dec. 18, 2010. Since then, the ship has hosted different distinguished visits such as Medal of Honor recipient, Capt. Arthur Jackson, who fought in the Battle of Peleliu, President Jimmy Carter, Secretary of the Navy John Dalton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Peleliu also completed a successful light off assessment and the 3M mid-cycle assessment with a passing grade of 95.1 percent. His next duty assignment will be with staff of Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific Fleet in San Diego.
With a brief reading of orders and the presentation of the Legion of Merit award, Cox saluted as his successor assumed command.
Deehr relieved Cox as the executive officer of Peleliu and assumed command under the “Fleet up Program,” a program established in 2006 that allows the executive officer to move up as commanding officer of their current ship.
“I am honored to take command after serving as Peleliu’s executive officer for the past 18 months,” said Deehr. “Capt. Cox has left me a great crew and I know we will continue to set the standard for excellence on the waterfront.”
Deehr graduated from Kent State University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He joined the Navy in 1985 and received his commission from Naval Officer Candidate School, Newport, R.I. in February 1986. He is now the 22nd commanding officer of the “Iron Nickel” and begins his 18-month tour as the ship prepares for an upcoming Western Pacific deployment.