US Navy supercarrier changes commanding officer in PHL Sea

The United States Navy’s forward deployed Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) – the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5 – welcomed its new commanding officer, Captain Patrick Hannifin, during a ceremony held on September 10 in Philippine Sea.

Captain Hannifin replaced Captain Michael “Buzz” Donnelly who served from April 2016 to September 2018.

“Buzz, you have every right to be proud of your many accomplishments and the team’s performance. The team has won countless awards, adapted to changing real world tensions and answered every call,” Rear Admiral Karl Thomas, commander, Task Force (CTF) 70, the US Navy 7th Fleet’s Battle Force.

“I know you worked tirelessly to achieve a team of winners. It was apparent to me the moment I walked aboard your ship. They are a combat ready crew, and in fact, there is no more combat ready carrier in the fleet,” Rear Admiral Thomas added.

According to US Navy, the new commanding officer of USS Ronald Reagan, Capatain Hannifin is a native of San Diego, California, and was commissioned in 1991 after receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Education for Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (NROTC) and Masters of Arts in International Relations from the University of San Diego.

He is also a graduate of the Joint Advanced Warfighting School and the United States Air Force Test Pilot School. Hannifin has over 2,800 flight hours in 33 different aircraft.

“I am incredibly honored to serve among patriots aboard USS Ronald Reagan in our Forward Deployed Naval Forces,” said Hannifin. “As one of our nation’s most visible symbols of resolve and lethal instruments of war, USS Ronald Reagan looks forward to promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region for years to come.”