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Command of USS Ronald Reagan changes hands at sea

01 October 2020

From MC1 Bryan Blair, USS Ronald Reagan

Capt. Fred Goldhammer relieved Capt. Pat Hannifin as commanding officer of the forward-deployed aircraft carrier while underway in the Western Pacific.

PHILIPPINE SEA - Capt. Pat Hannifin, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), turned over command to Capt. Fred Goldhammer during a change of command ceremony, Oct. 1.

Due to shipboard COVID-19 prevention measures, the change of command was held in Ronald Reagan’s pilot house over the ship’s announcement system (1MC) – fitting for a warship conducting operations underway in the Indo-Pacific region.

Hannifin’s two-year tour consisted of notable operations and exercises including Valiant Shield, Malabar, Keen Sword, Talisman Saber, dual-carrier operations with USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and numerous bilateral engagements with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). He offered final words to the crew of Ronald Reagan before turning the 1MC over to Goldhammer.

“Reagan Sailors are fit and our systems are sound,” said Hannifin. “Reagan is and will always remain poised to fight and win in combat. Every year and every age has challenges – we have certainly had ours here – but this team wins. To the crew and the full team that's onboard Reagan: I appreciate your service. It is the honor of my life to have served among you.”

After assuming command, Goldhammer addressed the crew, thanking Hannifin and looking forward to continuing Ronald Reagan’s deployment which began in late May this year.

“Captain Hannifin, congratulations on an amazing job. Thank you for the excellent turnover and mentorship," said Goldhammer. “Warship 76, I cannot begin to describe to you how great it is to be back in the ultimate team sport that is carrier aviation. Our success is only possible because of the resilience, ownership and selflessness of every person onboard. Thank you for your service and for what you do every day. I am both proud and humbled at the opportunity to serve with you as we carry out our nation's business.”

Goldhammer, Reagan’s ninth commanding officer, received his commission through the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He holds master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the Air Force Command and Staff College. He previously served as commanding officer of USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19).

Hannifin’s next assignment will be at the Navy’s Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N98) in Washington, D.C.

Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

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