Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 5 welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during a port visit to Guam, Oct. 5.
Rear Adm. John Alexander assumed command of CSG 5 from Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery during the ceremony, which was presided over by U.S. 7th Fleet Commander, Vice Adm. Robert Thomas.
Montgomery assumed command in February 2013. His position also included commander, Task Force 70 and Battle Force 7th Fleet. He successfully executed Annual Exercise ’13, Talisman Saber ’13, Valiant Shield ’14, and Malabar ’14. He also led the first significant U.S. Navy forces presence in support of Operation Damayan, the response to Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, where his leadership ensured the task force was effectively employed to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief directly supporting the efforts of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Thomas congratulated Montgomery during the ceremony and commended both his leadership and the successes of his units, and awarded him the Legion of Merit.
Montgomery will serve next as director for operations at U.S. Pacific Command.
Alexander takes command following a successful tour as assistant commander for career management, Naval Personnel Command. He previously commanded the “Black Ravens” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135, USS Juneau (LPD 10), at the time forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan, and Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
CSG 5 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed carrier strike group operating from Yokosuka, Japan and provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Press Release, October 08, 2014; Image: US Navy