Commander, Amphibious Squadron 5 (CPR 5) held a change of command ceremony on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship, USS Boxer (LHD-4) while pierside at Naval Base San Diego on Dec. 1.
During the ceremony, CPR 5 welcomed Capt. Brad Arthur as their new commodore, and bid farewell to Capt. Mike Crary, who led CPR 5 from June 2016 until today.
Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, served as the guest speaker for the event. Alexander awarded Crary with a Legion of Merit for his accomplishments while serving as commodore of CPR 5.
“I think it’s fair to say that no team was better prepared to deploy than this one,” said Alexander. “Under Mike’s leadership, you excelled at every stage of the training cycle; from the basic phase, to the advanced phase, and finally during your certification exercise. Thank you for being the kind of leader I could count on, your fellow commanders could count on, and most importantly, our Sailors and Marines could count on to get it right.”
While serving as commodore, Crary deployed to the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in support of Operation Oaken Steel and Operation Yukon Sceptre. Crary served as Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) for eight amphibious ships during his tenure: Boxer, USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS Somerset (LPD 25), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), and Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Portland (LPD 27).
“I consider myself blessed to serve as commodore for this great Blue-Green team over the past 18 months,” said Crary.
Upon Crary’s departure, he will report to duties in Washington D.C..
Capt. Brad L. Arthur, CPR 5’s new commodore, was assigned as the officer in charge, Navy National Reconnaissance Office Coordination Group – Sea Operations Detachment, prior to his assignment as CPR 5’s deputy commodore. He has also served as the commanding officer of the Tridents of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Nine from Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2014 while assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 aboard nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). His other sea tours include line division, assistant operations, and quality assurance officer with the Red Lions of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 15 assigned to CVW 17 aboard aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and Nimitz-class aircraft carrier George Washington (CVN 73); assistant navigator USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76); department head maintenance officer with the Nightdippers of HS 5 assigned to CVW 7 aboard CVN 69.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to work alongside with the men and women of PHIBRON 5,” said Arthur. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to be associated with the Sailors and Marines of the Boxer ARG and 11th MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit].”
CPR5, which is a part of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, is comprised of eight ships: Boxer, dock landing ship Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45), amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25), amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18), amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) and amphibious transport dock PCU Portland (LPD 27).
CPR5 was established in September 1954 and has been based in San Diego since its inception. Most recently, CPR5 and various MEUs have completed multiple deployments to the 5th Fleet area of operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. CPR 5 prepares for and directs expeditionary warfare missions in support of national objectives by employing the combat power of amphibious ships, cruiser destroyer attack ships and the Marine Corps in the maritime, littoral, and inland environments.
Chief Petty Officer Justin Webb , USS Boxer (LHD 4)