COMDESRON 31 Change of Command
190919-N-SF508-0783 PEARL HARBOR (Sept. 19, 2019) Capt. William Baxter, commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31, salutes the sideboys following the DESRON 31 change of command ceremony aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. DESRON 31 is part of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and comprises six Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), USS Hopper (DDG 70), USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), USS John Finn (DDG 113) and USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Charles Oki/Released)

PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM – CAPT William H. Baxter relieved CAPT Joe J. Ring as Commander Destroyer Squadron THREE ONE on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at a ceremony conducted aboard USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG 53).

As Commodore, Ring served as the Immediate Superior in Command for seven Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers: USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG 53), USS HOPPER (DDG 70), USS MOMSEN (DDG 92), USS WAYNE E MEYER (DDG 108), USS WILLIAM P LAWRENCE (DDG 110), USS JOHN FINN (DDG 113), and PCU DANIEL INOUYE (DDG 118).

During his tenure, Ring led Exercise PACIFIC DRAGON 2018, the largest multi-national BMD event in Pacific Fleet history and supported high profile bi-lateral events with both the Royal Australian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. CAPT Ring also served as mentor to the Royal New Zealand Navy during Exercise RIMPAC 2018, when they served as "Zulu" for the USS BOXER Expeditionary Strike Group. Additionally, DESRON THREE ONE ships successfully completed 4th Fleet and multiple 7th Fleet deployments.

With typical flair, CAPT Ring signed off with "It has been my pleasure to serve you as Commodore of Destroyer Squadron THREE ONE. We live in challenging times, what we ask of you is often hard and demanding, but if you fight hard, fight to win, never give up and never give in victory will be ours."

Captain Baxter is from Allen, Texas and is a 1994 graduate of Texas A & M University. He completed sea tours aboard USS UNDERWOOD (FFG 36), USS SPRUANCE (DD 963), TAYLOR (FFG 50 and USS YORKTOWN (CG 48). He served as Executive Officer in USS O’KANE (DDG 77) and USS PORT ROYAL (CG 77). He commanded USS WAYNE E MEYER (DDG 108) in 2012-2013.

“It is a great honor to take command of Destroyer Squadron THREE ONE, and to continue the great work of Commodore Ring” said Baxter. We will continue to act at the DESRON that you always wanted, ensuring that our ships are ready to conduct the mission the nation demands by focusing on service and procedural compliance."

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