SAN DIEGO – The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) held a change of command ceremony in San Diego, Dec. 19. Capt. Karrey Sanders relieved Capt. Jesus Rodriguez after his 15-month tour as commanding officer.
Rodriguez served aboard Portland as the executive officer prior to fleeting up to take command. Under Rodriguez’s watch and guidance, Portland completed its maiden voyage, commissioning ceremony, Final Contractor Trials and a $39 million post-shakedown availability. The ship also served as the flagship during the 2018 Rim of the Pacific Exercise demonstrating the command and control capabilities of the LPD platform.
“Ladies and Gentleman these Sailors are impressive,” said Rodriguez as he discussed the performance of his crew. “I am humbled by this crew’s drive to succeed. You have reached every milestone ahead of schedule. I am proud of your accomplishments and the waterfront has taken notice.”
Rodriguez, who became the second commanding officer of Portland on Sept. 21, 2018, was presented with a Legion of Merit award. His next assignment will be as part of Expeditionary Strike Group Three’s staff. Sanders is reporting to Portland after having previously served as the commanding officer aboard the dock landing ships USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and USS Rushmore (LSD 47). Capt. Sanders has completed operational tours with USS Midway (CV 41), USS Cape Cod (AD 43), USS Curts (FFG 38), USS Higgins (DDG 76) and USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Sanders also completed a tour as assistant chief of staff for operations for Expeditionary Strike Group THREE.