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Capt. Patrick "Fin" Hannifin salutes during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the USS Ronald Reagan while at sea, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.
Capt. Patrick "Fin" Hannifin salutes during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the USS Ronald Reagan while at sea, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (U.S. Navy)
Capt. Patrick "Fin" Hannifin salutes during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the USS Ronald Reagan while at sea, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.
Capt. Patrick "Fin" Hannifin salutes during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the USS Ronald Reagan while at sea, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (U.S. Navy)
Capt. Michael "Buzz" Donnelly addresses sailors during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the USS Ronald Reagan while at sea, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.
Capt. Michael "Buzz" Donnelly addresses sailors during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the USS Ronald Reagan while at sea, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (U.S. Navy)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The nation’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier welcomed a new leader during a ceremony at sea Monday.

Capt. Patrick “Fin” Hannifin assumed command of the Yokosuka-based USS Ronald Reagan from Capt. Michael “Buzz” Donnelly, according to the ship’s official Facebook page.

Rear Adm. Karl Thomas, commander of Task Force 70, presided over the ceremony held in the ship's hangar bay, according to the Navy.

Hannifin previously served as commanding officer of the Norfolk, Va.-based amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received a master’s in international relations from the University of San Diego, according to his Navy profile. The formal naval aviator was also selected to attend the Air Force’s Test Pilot School.

Donnelly is leaving the Ronald Reagan for a position within 7th Fleet leadership, according to 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Joe Keiley. His precise billet has yet to be determined.

Donnelly had commanded the Ronald Reagan since 2016.

The carrier deployed last month to patrol the Indo-Pacific region.

doornbos.caitlin@stripes.comTwitter: @CaitlinDoornbos

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