ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- Cmdr. Pat Eliason relieved Cmdr. Russ Moore as commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) during a change of command ceremony at sea, Nov. 10.
Capt. Adan Cruz, commander of Combined Task Force 55, oversaw the change of command attended by The Sullivans crew. The ceremony provided an opportunity to recognize Moore’s leadership as commanding officer throughout a U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet deployment, four maintenance availabilities, and a condensed training cycle.
“The Sullivans has been in 5th Fleet and part of Task Force 55 for some time now,” said Cruz in his remarks. “To date, the ship and crew have performed remarkably. I know that if I have a task that needs to be done, I can turn to The Sullivans. True to the ship’s motto, you stick together, and to Commander Moore, you lived up to your philosophy: 'Ownership, excellence, and stewardship.'”
Moore served aboard The Sullivans as a division officer and as executive officer (XO) before taking command, August 2017, as part of the surface Navy’s fleet-up program.
During the ceremony, he shared his perspective with the crew on the ship and her legacy.
"The ship has always held a special place for me,” said Moore. “It was one of my best tours in the Navy as a division officer, and to get the chance to come back as captain - unarguably the best job in the Navy - there is no equal. The legacy of the ship is even more compelling, as I believe there is not another story like that of the Sullivans brothers."
Moore will serve next in a staff position for the chief of naval operations’ operations analysis department at the Pentagon.
Eliason assumed command as the ship’s 20th commanding officer after serving 16 months as executive officer.
“The beauty of the XO to CO fleet-up program is that I knew within days of checking in as XO last year that I had the privilege of leading the best crew in the Navy,” said Eliason. “I am extremely proud to be your commanding officer, and to continue the legacy of this great warship that is named after the brothers who showed the type of grit and togetherness that make us great.”
The Sullivans is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.