ARABIAN GULF — Capt. Keith G. Moore was relieved by Capt. Patrick V. Foege as Commander, Amphibious Squadron One (PHIBRON 1) during a change of command ceremony held aboard amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), July 7.
During Moore's time as commander he guided the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) through numerous multinational exercises and operations including Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015 and the ARG's current deployment to the U.S. 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations in support of Exercise Ssang Yong 2016, Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater cooperation efforts.
"I cannot imagine having a better group of warfighters to lead the Sailors and Marines of the ARG/MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) through that fast-paced work-up cycle and subsequent 5th and 7th Fleet deployment," said Moore. "When I reflect back on your brilliance in executing Ssang Yong, maritime security operations in Yemen and in the Arabian Gulf, I am humbled, amazed and very proud."
The ceremony's keynote speaker, Col. Anthony M. Henderson, commanding officer of the 13th MEU, cited in a letter from Moore's family the impact his service has had on his hometown.
"If you visit Winona (Mississippi) and run across someone who knew him, do not be surprised if they show you a picture of him in his commander's uniform and relay to you how proud they are of the fact that someone from their little town has gone on to serve the United States in such a capacity," said Henderson.
In attendance was the ceremony's special guest, Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Francis Donovan, commander, Task Force 51. Donovan commended Moore on his accomplishments and his dedication to the Boxer ARG.
"There is no better person to command an amphibious ready group than Capt. Keith Moore," said Donovan. "When we look at the commodore go over the brow for the last time as our leader of Amphibious Squadron 1, we're losing 34 years of experience, which is incredible."
Moore's next command will be at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), Expeditionary Warfare (N95) in Washington, D.C.
"Your sense of duty and mission excellence is beyond compare," said Moore to Foege. "The Navy gets a lot of stuff right, and they definitely got it right when they brought you in here to command this squadron. I know you are ready for what lays ahead."
During the ceremony, Moore read his orders and transferred command to Foege, who read his orders, assumed command and addressed the audience as commander, PHIBRON 1.
"This is a humbling opportunity to continue serving our Sailors and Marines as commodore of Amphibious Squadron 1, especially while deployed here in the dynamic Arabian Gulf region," said Foege. "While the ceremony marks the passing of command from one commander to the next, it also recognizes the awe-inspiring work of every Sailor and Marine in this fighting force."
Foege assumed command after serving as the deputy commodore of PHIBRON 1. His previous assignments include serving as flight deck officer and assistant air officer aboard Boxer, commanding officer of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 10 flying the H-60F/H Seahawk, air boss aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and a hull swap with USS Essex (LHD 2) in Sasebo, Japan.
PHIBRON 1 is one of nine U.S. Navy amphibious squadrons and is currently responsible for Boxer, amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49).
PHIBRON 1 was established on 1 October 1954 with the primary mission of commanding an amphibious ready group and coordinating with an embarked MEU to perform assigned naval, joint, or combined operations.