SAN DIEGO, California - USS Preble (DDG 88) held a change of command ceremony while in port Guam on June 28, 2013. Preble is conducting operations in the Seventh Fleet area of operations on a WESTPAC deployment. Officiating the ceremony was Captain Paul Lyons, Commander, Destroyer Squadron FIFTEEN. Commodore Lyons embarked Preble to conduct the Exercise PACIFIC BOND, a trilateral engagement event focused on increasing readiness and enhancing relationships between the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian and American navies.
Cmdr. Robert T. Bryans relieved Cmdr Kurt M. Sellerberg to become the eighth commanding officer of USS Preble.
The ceremony marked the end of a memorable18-month command tour for Sellerberg. Sellerberg assumed command of Preble on January 19, 2012 while the ship was in dry dock at BAE Shipyard in San Diego, California. Under his command, Preble completed an extensive dry docking maintenance period, inter-deployment training cycle, integrated training cycle with the NIMITZ carrier strike group, as well as highly successful TYCOM Material Inspection and Board of Inspection and Survey inspection. Sellerberg also led Preble and her crew through the first two months of her current 2013 WESTPAC deployment.
“It has been an honor to serve as commanding officer of Preble.” Sellerberg says. “Never before have I seen such a cohesive and capable fighting force; evidenced everyday by your many achievements both at home and abroad. Preble Sailors are simply the best our Navy and Nation have to offer.”
Sellerberg will report to Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island as the Director of the Command At Sea department, charged with training the next generation of commanding officers.
Cmdr. Bryans enlisted in the United States Navy in August, 1987 and is a 1996 graduate of Old Dominion University. He went on to earn his Master of Arts in National Security Affairs (Middle East/Africa), graduating “with distinction” from the Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey, California, in 2002.
At sea, he served as a division officer in USS THORN (DD 988) and USS ANZIO (CG 68) and as a department head in USS VICKSBURG (CG 69). He also served as a Stinger Anti-terrorism Weapon Gunner at Commander, Middle East Force, Bahrain, as well as tours at Beachmaster Unit TWO and Assault Craft Unit TWO. Ashore, he served as Deputy Director of System Engineering and Integration for International Activities at the Missile Defense Agency in Washington D.C. He most recently served as a Strategic Analyst and Executive Officer, Resources Directorate (J1/8), at Headquarters, United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
Bryans assumes command of Preble after serving 18 months as executive officer.
“It is my absolute honor and privilege to have served as your executive officer and an even greater privilege to serve now as your commanding officer,” Bryans told the crew during the change of command ceremony. "Your grit and determination to successfully power through training cycles, inspections, and deployment, demonstrate your commitment to continuing Preble’s legacy of extraordinary professional competence, moral courage, and valor in peace and war."