Story Number: NNS140711-12Release Date: 7/11/2014 12:27:00 PM
By Lt. j.g. Donald V. Recine III, USS Porter Public Affairs
NORFOLK (NNS) -- Naval Station Norfolk hosted a change of command ceremony for guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) July 11.
Cmdr. Blair Guy relieved Cmdr. Dave Richardson as commanding officer. Capt. Stephen Coughlin, former commander, Destroyer Squadron 2, served as the guest speaker.
A 1995 Naval Academy graduate, Richardson served as Porter's 10th commanding officer for nearly two years. Assuming command while the ship was deployed in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility, his tour was highlighted by the successful completion of a yearlong maintenance availability in the dry dock. During this shipyard period, the Arleigh Burke class destroyer received significant repairs and upgrades, including the ballistic missile defense installation.
Crew accomplishments under Richardson's command included two consecutive awards of the "Green H" for health and wellness, the 2014 Hampton Roads Volunteer Achievement Award, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
"It has been the honor of my professional life to lead this crew of amazing Sailors," said Richardson. "I am in awe of the tenacity that every Porter Sailor has displayed over a sustained period. My proudest moment as a destroyer captain was watching the end result of the crew's hard work in the maintenance phase, as the ship and crew performed superbly during our recent underway sea trials."
Richardson will next serve as a permanent military professor in the Political Science Department at the Naval Academy.
Previously Porter's executive officer, Guy enlisted in the Navy in 1991 as a nuclear machinists mate and was subsequently selected for the nuclear enlisted commissioning program. A graduate of Auburn University, his previous tours at sea include service on USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Ashore, Guy served in the strategy and policy branch of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and as Joint Experimentation Branch Chief at U.S. European Command.
"I am honored to assume command of this ship and lead the crew through the transition from a maintenance to an operational environment," said Guy. "We look forward to completing our BMD certification and transitioning next year to the forward deployed naval force in Rota, Spain."
Porter is on track to shift homeports next year to Rota, joining the BMD destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Ross (DDG 71).
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/surflant/.