Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and CDC guidelines for group gatherings, the ship was unable to hold a traditional change of command ceremony.
During the event, Cmdr. William A. Fensterer relieved Cmdr. Janice A. Pollard as commanding officer. Capt. Jason A. Burns, commodore, Amphibious Squadron FIVE, presided over the ceremony.
Under Cmdr. Pollard, the crew successfully completed the basic training phase, a deployment to 5th and 7th Fleet and exercises Eager Lion and Carat Brunei. Cmdr. Pollard will report to Commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center.
“All of your hard work, professional expertise, and unwavering motivation and positive spirit inspired and motivated me every day, and I thank you for that and everything!”, said Pollard. “Words can't express how proud I am to have served as your captain.”
Cmdr. Fensterer served as executive officer of the guided-missile cruiser, USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and officially assumed the title of commanding officer after reading his orders.
"It’s an honor and a privilege to serve you as commanding officer," said Fensterer. "We are the best crew and the toughest ship in the fleet! We are ready to fight and win! Let's continue the momentum and get after it!"
Harpers Ferry was launched Jan. 16, 1993, commissioned Jan. 7, 1995, and is a cargo variant dock landing ship. The ship is currently homeported at Naval Base San Diego.