After three years at the helm of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station, Capt. Terry Auberry will retire this week, handing over the base’s command to Capt. Tripp Hardy.
Auberry will retire after nearly 38 years, leaving the base on a high note. This year, the base was named the Navy’s best small base, earning the 2012 Installation Excellence Award for Small Installations. Recently, the Naval Weapons Station received multiple Navy-wide awards for safety, environmental stewardship, energy and water management, and housing operations.
“I can’t imagine a better end to my career than with what our Seal Beach team has been able to accomplish,” said Auberry. “The awards and accolades belong to all of the outstanding sailors, Navy civilians and contractors I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I will definitely leave here knowing the base is in good hands.”
Hardy brings to Seal Beach 28 years of Navy experience. His previous tours and positions include command of the guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), executive officer of the guided missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga (CG 47), and an assistant naval adviser in the U.S. Department of State, said Gregg Smith, the base’s spokesman. His most recent tour was as the Surface Operations officer and Current Operations Officer of Strike Force Training Pacific, added Smith.
The base plays an enormous role in the local economy, contributing more than $136 million to the area's economy and supporting more than 2,000 jobs, according to a recent economic impact report by the Navy. The base’s officials are also active in community events, participating in everything from the Seal Beach Christmas parade to he police department’s National Night Out community safety event.
There will be an invitation-only traditional "change of command" ceremony Friday morning on the base’s parade grounds. The ceremony’s guest speaker will be Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander of the Navy's southwest region.