January 19, 2012
USS Preble (DDG 88) held a change of command ceremony under the hull of the ship in dry dock at BAE Shipyard in San Diego, California on January 19.
Cmdr. Kurt M. Sellerberg (CDE 2004) relieved Cmdr Joseph F. Cahill, III to become the seventh commanding officer of USS Preble.
The ceremony marked the end of an 18-month command tour for Cahill. After taking command in July 2010, he led Preble through a successful pre-deployment work-up phase culminating in a seven month deployment to the Western Pacific and Horn of Africa with the Ronald Reagan Strike Group in support of Operation Tomodachi and Counterpiracy Patrols. Following deployment, Preble entered a Chief of Naval Operations Availability and has been in dry dock since October.
“It has been an honor to serve as Commanding Officer of Preble. I am incredibly proud of the men and women who serve on board and am thankful for the families who support us every day as we defend our great nation,” Cahill says. “I could not think of a better person to take command than Cmdr Sellerberg. He is an exceptional leader with an unwavering drive and desire to succeed.”
Cahill will report to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island for his next assignment.
Sellerberg is a 1997 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English. He also earned a Master’s of Arts degree in Foreign Policy and Military Affairs from the Naval War College. His previous sea assignments include Electrical Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant on USS Fife (DD 991), Engineering Officer on USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), Materiel Officer in Destroyer Squadron 23. Throughout his career he has completed multiple deployments and supported numerous operations including counter-drug operations in support of JIATF-W, Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and in operations in support of multi-national Counterpiracy Patrols in the Horn of Africa.
Sellerberg assumes command of Preble after he served as Executive Officer from June 2010.
"I am very fortunate to be taking command from Commander Cahill, a great Naval Officer and lifelong friend,” Sellerberg says. "He was a pillar for combat readiness and mission execution and has set the ship up for continued success. I wish him and his family all the best. I'm honored and privileged to be taking command of PREBLE...a great ship with the finest Sailors in our Navy."