SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Capt. Rome Ruiz relieved Capt. Homer R. Denius III as commander, Amphibious Squadron (CPR) 3 during a change of command ceremony held on amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) while pierside at Naval Base San Diego, April 20.
Denius assumed command of CPR 3 in March 2015, and upon his departure will report to commander, Naval Surface Forces as the assistant chief of staff for maritime operations (N46).
Vice Adm. Nora W. Tyson, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, served as the guest speaker for the event. Tyson presented Denius with a Legion of Merit as an end of tour award, recognizing him for his exceptional service to the United States Navy.
Denius joined CPR 3 while on deployment, embarking the then flagship USS Essex. He led the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) consisting of amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) and landing transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) through their successful Middle East and Western Pacific deployment. Upon return PHIBRON 3 embarked, the now flagship, USS America (LHA 6). As CPR 3 aboard USS America, Denius was responsible for the successful participation of the USS America (LHA 6) and USS San Diego (LPD 22) during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 exercise where the two ships demonstrated maritime excellence and bilateral partnership while working with the Royal Australian Navy's landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Canberra.
At the start of 2017, Denius oversaw the execution of the early pre-deployment workup exercises and training evolutions for the America Amphibious Ready Group, including Rapid Response Planning Process (R2P2), Group Sail and PHIBRON MEU Integration (PMINT), ensuring the successful integration of the Navy-Marine Corps team and the ARG/MEU's readiness for deployment.
"Today, the ships deploying with the America Amphibious Readiness Group - the America, San Diego and Pearl Harbor - are the most ready I have ever seen," said Denius. "They have produced nothing short of outstanding results."
Ruiz's most recent assignment was commanding officer of USS Cape Saint George (CG 71) homeported in San Diego. As a surface warfare officer he was the first lieutenant and damage control assistant onboard USS Doyle (FFG 39), chief engineer on both USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and USS John Young (DD 973), and commanding officer onboard USS Shrike (MHC 62), USS Cardinal (MHC 60), and USS Higgins (DDG 76). During these assignments, he completed six deployments to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean, Southern Pacific, and Caribbean.
"It truly is an honor and an absolute privilege to be here," said Ruiz. "I can't thank these resilient Marines, Sailors and their families enough for their dedication [and] their sacrifices especially during these uncertain times. I value each and every one of you and do not take for granted anything that you do."
The America ARG is commanded by CPR 3 and consists of USS America (LHA 6), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22), and Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and more than 1,800 Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
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