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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic
USS Gonzalez Change of Command
28 October 2022
Naval Station Norfolk --
NORFOLK (NNS) – Cmdr. Erik S. Reynolds relieved Cmdr. Timothy K. Battles as commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), during a ceremony aboard the ship, Oct. 28.
The ceremony marked the end of a 17-month tour for Battles. Under his command, Gonzalez successfully completed the basic, advanced, and integrated training phases, certifying the ship and crew in all mission areas. Battles also led Gonzalez through an eight-month deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations, after a surge deployment in January.
"It was the honor and privilege of my life to serve on this ship, to command and serve with each of you,” said Battles. “I thank you all for this opportunity.”
Battles leaves the ship to join the staff of Surface Warfare Schools Command in Newport, Rhode Island.
Reynolds assumed command in accordance with the Navy’s Fleet-up Program after serving as Gonzalez’s executive officer. His previous assignments include sea tours aboard USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) as First Lieutenant and Damage Control Assistant, Chief Engineer aboard USS Elrod (FFG 55), Chief Engineer aboard USS Monterey (CG 61), and commanding officer of USS Cape St. George (CG 71).
“I really appreciate everyone who came aboard to celebrate this career milestone with me today,” said Reynolds.
“This is more than just a career milestone though, it is truly the achievement of a childhood dream. Each of you here has played a role in helping me stand before you today in the command of the best destroyer in the Navy.”
Commissioned in 1995, Gonzalez is named after Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Alfredo “Freddy” Gonzalez, who gave his life during the Battle of Hue City during the Vietnam War.
Gonzalez is homeported at Naval Station Norfolk and a part of Destroyer Squadron 28, along with Carrier Strike Group 8 led by the USS Harry S. Truman.
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