CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Capt. Kenneth Coleman relieved Capt. Rome Ruiz as Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 3 during a Change of Command ceremony at Naval Air Station, North Island May 11.
The ceremony's guest speaker, Col. Joseph Clearfield, commanding officer of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), applauded Ruiz for his exemplary service and leadership during his time in command.
During Ruiz's tenure as commodore, he led the USS America (LHA 6) Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG), composed of America, USS San Diego (LPD 22), USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and embarked 15th MEU through an arduous deployment to the Indo-Pacific, Mediterranean, Horn of Africa, and Middle East.
Under his charge, the ARG/MEU supported numerous bilateral exercises, relief efforts to include search and rescue in support of the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collision, and operations such as Inherent Resolve, Alligator Dagger, and Iron Magic.
"PHIBRON 3's efforts in creating a fighting spirit extended beyond the individual ship. A sense of pride and loyalty was developed across the entire Amphibious Task Force and Marine Landing Force," stated Ruiz in his final moments as commodore. "The professionalism and dedication of our ships and Marines bolstered the integration of our Navy and Marine Corps team's ability to provide combatant commanders with adaptive, lethal and tough naval forces so that we could fight, win, and complete our mission."
Ruiz, a San Antonio, Texas native, will report to the Chief of Operations (OPNAV), in Washington D.C. for his next assignment.
Coleman, a native of Vestal, New York, served as the Commodore of Afloat Training Group (ATG) Pacific prior to reporting to PHIBRON 3. His previous sea assignments include executive officer and commanding officer on USS Independence (LCS 2) and USS New York (LPD 21).
"I am excited and humbled to join the PHIBRON 3 team and very much look forward to serving and sailing with you all," Coleman said as he thanked Ruiz's for his accomplishments and tremendous contributions to the staff.
PHIBRON 3 is currently composed of USS America (LHA 6), USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS San Diego (LPD 22), USS Somerset (LPD 25), USS Portland (LPD 27), USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), and USS Comstock (LSD 45), all homeported in San Diego. Their primary mission is to command an amphibious ready group, coordinating with an embarked MEU to perform assigned naval, joint, or combined operations.