July 6, 2012

Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach welcomes new commanding officer

by Gregg Smith
Seal Beach, Calif.
Navy photograph by PO1 Eli J. Medellin
Capt. Terry W. Auberry receives a flag from Cmdr. Douglas Harold as he retires during his change of command ceremony at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach.

Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach and Navy Munitions Command CONUS West Division sailors, civilians and guests celebrated a traditional change of command ceremony June 22.

Capt. Tripp Hardy relieved Capt. Terry Auberry as commanding officer.

Auberry commemorated the pinnacle of a career spanning 38 years, which began as a seaman recruit in 1974.

“This tour as commanding officer has been the best of my entire Navy career,” said Auberry. “The reason is the men and women, Sailors and civilians, who make up these two commands. All the success goes to them.”

The commander of Navy Region Southwest, Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, spoke of Auberry’s legacy of consecutive Navy-wide award wins for safety, environmental stewardship, energy and water management and housing operations.

“Terry, the success here at Seal Beach comes to me as no surprise given your leadership, your passion, and the talent and the professionalism of your team,” said Smith.

Earlier this year, the weapons station had been awarded the 2012 Installation Excellence Award for Small Installations, giving it bragging rights as the best small base in the U.S. Navy.

“Being selected the best in the Navy is no small feat as we have 70 naval installations throughout the world,” said Smith. “Captain Auberry, you and your team have set the bar high for each and every one of our base’s to strive for.”

Hardy, whose previous tours include command of guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson and executive officer of guided-missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga, was looking forward to command of the base.

“To the teams here at Seal Beach, I am humbled to be in command,” said Hardy. “I have been impressed at every corner I’ve turned by your pride, your professionalism, and your spirit.”

Hardy added, “In one of the spaces I walked through, I saw a sign that said, ‘If we fail, they do not come home.’ I was inspired by that statement, and I think it epitomizes the importance of what we all do, and the dedicated service you provide to our fleet.”

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