USS Curtis Wilbur
"Steel Hammer of the Fleet"
Cmdr. Cristopher T. Monroe speaks at his change of command ceremony.
YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 20, 2012) - Cmdr. Cristopher T. Monroe speaks at his change of command ceremony. Monroe led the crew of the USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) as commanding officer through 18 successful months as a forward delpoyed ship. Cmdr. Joseph D. Femino is releaving Monroe as the new commanding officer of Curtis Wilbur. (US Navy photo)
USS Curtis Wilbur Conducts Change of Command Ceremony
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Cmdr. Joseph D. Femino relieved Cmdr. Christopher T. Monroe as the 14th Commanding Officer of USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) on April 20, 2012.

“I credit the successful accomplishment of our ship’s mission directly to the hard work and proficiency of our Sailors. I am continually amazed at the caliber of the men and women serving in 7th Fleet. I consider it a tremendous honor to have had the opportunity to serve with the best crew in the Navy,” said Cmdr. Monroe during his closing remarks on Friday.

During Monroe’s 18 month command tour, Curtis Wilbur played significant roles in real-world tasking while remaining fully mission ready. Of note, her international engagements included humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during Operation Tomodachi in the aftermath of the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011, as well as involvement in several multinational exercises with the navies of Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea.

A native of Maine, Monroe has served on five AEGIS cruisers and destroyers. He holds graduate degrees from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Ashore, he has previously served as an NROTC Instructor at Northwestern University, an action officer in the Pentagon (OPNAV N86), and as a Special Assistant to the Chief of the Naval Operations.

Addressing the crew of the Curtis Wilbur, he said, “Your dedication, tenacity and innate capability have been incredible to witness and experience over the last year. Your ability to flex to changes, rise to challenges and excel at any mission or assessment is truly unmatched and the cornerstone of every success aboard. It is an incredible and humbling honor to fleet up today to continue operating with unwavering excellence at the tip of the spear."

Cmdr. Femino is a native of Beverly, Massachusetts and was commissioned through the Cornell University NROTC Program. He has served on frigates, destroyers and as destroyer squadron Operations Officer in Bahrain participating in combat and reconstruction phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Femino commanded the minesweepers USS Dextrous (MCM 13) and USS Warrior (MCM 10) operating in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Fleets. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island and is a graduate of the Argentine Naval War College in Buenos Aires, and the National War College in Washington, D.C. with a degree in National Strategic Studies.

USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) is one of seven Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers that is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, as part of Destroyer Squadron 15 in the U.S. 7th Fleet.

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