SANTA RITA, Guam -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) welcomed a new commanding officer Jan. 31 while visiting Guam during a regularly scheduled deployment.
Cmdr. Jaime Hopkins relieved Cmdr. Vincent A. Fortson as Wayne E. Meyer's commanding officer during a formal ceremony on the ship's flight deck.
"It's a bittersweet day today on the Wayne E. Meyer," said Fortson. "But the crew is ready to continue on and I couldn't be more proud of them."
Under Fortson's leadership, Wayne E. Meyer deployed to the Western Pacific in 2017 and participated in multi-national exercises with the Republic of Korea and Japan. Wayne E. Meyer also contributed to routine presence operations that helped maintain security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Fortson turned over command to Hopkins after reading his orders to become the new operations officer for Carrier Strike Group 15 based in San Diego.
Hopkins is a Salem, Oregon native who received her commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1999. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Oregon State University and a master's degree in financial management from the Naval Postgraduate School.
"It's an honor to be a part of the Wayne E. Meyer legacy," said Hopkins in her first address to the crew as captain.
Wayne E. Meyer departed San Diego on Jan. 5 for a regularly scheduled deployment. The destroyer is currently operating in the Indo-Pacific region under Destroyer Squadron 1, which is part of the Carl Vinson Strike Group.
In addition to Wayne E. Meyer and Destroyer Squadron 1, the strike group includes aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing 2, USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), and guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57).