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    USS Russell (DDG 59) Holds Change of Command at Sea

    USS Russell (DDG 59) Conducts PASSEX with Indian Navy

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Wade Costin | INDIAN OCEAN (March 31, 2021) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS...... read more read more

    PACIFIC OCEAN (May 2, 2020) – Cmdr. Ryan K. Rogers turned over command of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) to Cmdr. James F. Hopp during a change of command ceremony in the Pacific Ocean May 2, 2021.

    The ceremony, which marked the end of a 19-month command tour for Rogers, was held in the ship’s pilot house.

    "Serving with these officers and crew has truly been an honor," said Rogers. "This has been a unique and extraordinary tour. I trust that Cmdr. Hopp will find there is no better destroyer in the fleet than USS Russell."
    Capt. Steven McDowell, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23, provided remarks as the ceremony’s guest speaker.

    “It’s an honor to be here today to stand before an outstanding crew that has performed so well in the most adverse environments a ship has faced in modern times,” said McDowell. “Cmdr. Rogers’ ability to assess risk and make sound decisions that kept Russell and her crew safe while executing all tasking that came her way has set the bar high. I am especially proud of what this crew has achieved under your leadership. You are all to be commended. I am proud of your performance, and extremely proud to call Russell a DESRON 23 ship!”

    During Rogers’ time as commanding officer, Russell completed two deployments to the Indo-Pacific and its associated training cycles, as well as a 2019 board of inspection and survey. Rogers also led Russell through a transit of Oceania to develop partnerships with Papua New Guinea, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, strengthening ties between the United States and the countries in Oceania.

    Rogers is departing Russell to become chief of staff for Expeditionary Strike Group 3.

    During the ceremony, Rogers read his orders and transferred command to Hopp, who read his orders, assumed command, and spoke to the crew for the first time as commanding officer of Russell.

    "It is an incredible privilege to lead the ‘Red Dragons’ of Russell,” said Hopp. “I am honored and humbled to serve with a team that has accomplished so much on a ship with both a fantastic reputation and a bright future, because of the dedication this crew demonstrates each and every day. I look forward to facing the challenges ahead and continuing Russell's tradition of success with this amazing crew and those who support us."

    Hopp assumed command of Russell after serving as commanding officer of USS Cape St. George (CG 71). His previous assignments include USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) where he served as the electronic warfare officer, USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) as the reactor mechanical division officer, USS Porter (DDG 78) as operations officer, USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the main propulsion assistant, and as the executive officer of USS Stethem (DDG 63).

    Commissioned in 1995, Russell is named for Rear Adm. John Henry Russell and his son, Commandant of the Marine Corps John Henry Russell, Jr. Assigned to Destroyer Squadron 23, Russell is homeported in San Diego and is currently on a scheduled deployment with Carrier Strike Group NINE (CSG-9) conducting routine operations in U.S. 3rd Fleet. CSG-9 consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and USS Russell.

    Theodore Roosevelt’s embarked air wing consists of the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 31, “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87, “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146, “Black Knights” of VFA-154, “Liberty Bells” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 115, “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, and “Providers” of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron (VRC) 30 Detachment 3.

    For more news on USS Russell, visit



    Date Taken: 05.02.2021
    Date Posted: 05.03.2021 01:05
    Story ID: 395404
    Location: PACIFIC OCEAN

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