USS Port Royal Changes Command

The officers and crew of USS Port Royal (CG 73) held a change of command ceremony aboard the historic Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Oct. 31.

During the ceremony, the Port Royal crew bid farewell to Capt. Eric F. Weilenman and welcomed aboard Capt. Aldolfo H. Ibarra as commanding officer.

The ceremony marked the end of a highly-successful 43-month major command tour for Weilenman, one of the longest tours of an officer in command of a warship in recent history.

Weilenman led Port Royal on a seven-month independent ballistic missile defense (BMD) deployment, serving as BMD commander in U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. He also commanded the ship during two Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) International Exercises, RIMPAC 2012 and RIMPAC 2014, as well as numerous local operations.

Rear Adm. Rick Williams, Commander Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, awarded Weilenman the Legion of Merit during the ceremony. Weilenman’s next assignment will be in Pearl Harbor as chief of staff for Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

Ibarra assumes command as Port Royal begins a maintenance period in preparation for a follow-on training cycle and future deployment.

Port Royal is the 27th and final Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, the ultimate Aegis cruiser. Port Royal is named for two strategic battles that took place during the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War in the waters of Port Royal Sound in South Carolina.

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Press release, Image: US Navy