SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron (CPR) 3 held a change of command ceremony in the hangar bay of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) on March 11.
During the ceremony, CPR 3 bid farewell to Capt. Clint A. Carroll, departing commander, and welcomed Capt. Homer R. Denius III. Carroll will report next to the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center in San Diego. The ceremony included remarks from Carroll, Denius and Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific Fleet.
During Carroll's tenure as CPR 3, he oversaw the recent 2015 deployment of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), consisting of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23), dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), and the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The Essex ARG and 15th MEU deployed to the 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR), executing numerous national tasking, safety of life at sea, and presidential support missions, as well as bilateral exercises and sustainment training.
"Of the many superlative achievements of the Essex ARG and 15th MEU, I am most proud of the actions which provide the bookends of the capabilities of our blue-green team," said Carroll. "On the violent end of the spectrum, Marine Harriers from Essex flew strike sorties against ISIL targets in Iraq ensuring that those who would do us or our allies harm are prevented from doing so. On the soft power side, the rescue of a total of 81 mariners in distress in the Pacific and Indian Oceans by Anchorage and Rushmore brought strategic communication to the personal level."
The ARG and accompanying MEU comprised of a team of 5,000 Marines and Sailors whose combined skill sets allowed them to execute a wide variety of missions, to include, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, amphibious assaults, visit board search and seizure, maritime interdiction operations, noncombatant evacuation operations, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, and theater security operations.
America, which was the host of the ceremony and CPR 3's current flagship, is preparing to exit her maintenance availability and participate in upcoming training evolutions and exercises in the 3rd Fleet AOR.
Carroll, Denius, and Rowden all thanked the crew and leadership for their hospitality and impeccable preparation for the change of command ceremony.
"USS America - Capt. Wayne Baze... the ship looks great," said Carroll. "You've been phenomenal hosts for both our flagship shift and today's ceremony. Together with Capt. Meuser and his team on board USS San Diego you are on track to perform superbly for [all tasking on the horizon]."
In closing, Carroll stated, "Over the years I've come to understand that service is not just what we do; it is who we are and what we believe in. We do not choose to serve and go in harm's way out of hatred for those in front of us, but out of love for those who serve beside us and those we leave behind. Thank you team! I am so very proud of you!"
An ornamental command pennant was also presented during the ceremony to Carroll by Master Chief Machinists Mate Christopher Royal, CPR 3's senior enlisted advisor.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Carroll and Denius hosted a farewell reception in the ship's hangar bay.
For more information about Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3 visit: http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/cpr3/Pages/default.aspx
For more news from Expeditionary Strike Group 3, visit www.navy.mil/local/esg3/.