PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Capt. Henry C. Adams relieved Capt. Robert B. Chadwick as commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, during an underway ceremony aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) operating off the coast of Hawaii, Aug. 1.
DESRON 21 oversees the operations of eight Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and 1,200 Sailors with homeports in San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and Everett, Washington.
"It has truly been my honor to command this legendary squadron and follow in the footsteps of the 53 historic and notable commodores who preceded me," said Chadwick, a native of Bethesda, Maryland. "I could not be more proud of the performance of the staff and ships, from the West Coast to South China Sea. Turning over command to my good friend and classmate Capt. Hank Adams reassures me that the squadron will be in remarkably capable hands."
Adams and Chadwick were classmates at the U.S. Naval Academy, and said they have enjoyed a friendship spanning more than two decades.
"I am honored to assume command of this storied squadron and humbled by the opportunity to lead this incredible team of professionals," said Adams, a native of Houston. "Capt. Chadwick had a great tour as commodore, and I look forward to carrying on the tradition of supporting our ships and setting the conditions for their success."
Prior to taking command, Adams served as deputy commodore of DESRON 21.
Established in March 1943 under Adm. William F. Halsey's 3rd Fleet, the DESRON 21 "Rampant Lions" earned 118 battle stars as reporting senior staff for the first Fletcher-class destroyers.
As the Sea Combat Commander, DESRON 21 is charged with protecting the strike group from surface and sub-surface threats.
DESRON 21 is returning from a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment as a member of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and is currently participating in Rim of the Pacific 2016.
Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
JCSSG consists of John C. Stennis with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and DESRON 21 embarked, guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).
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