Fil-Am Navy captain relieved of commander duties with honors

SAN DIEGO, CA — One of the highest-ranking Filipino American Navy captains in San Diego has been relieved of his duties with honors.

In a virtual change of command, limited to only a few personnel and family members, Captain Ernan S. Obellos received the defense meritorious service medal, as has passed on the flag to Navy commander Maxine Gardner.

“When I took command two years ago, we as a world-class team, nailed our two goals and then some. First, be the best aviation industrial site; second, have a blast, have a great time doing it, and we’ve done it both. Whatever each of you do, we’re doing an important job, a big job called protecting our freedom.”

The Iloilo-born and raised Obellos took command of the Navy’s defense logistics agency in 2018.

The agency oversees retail supply, storage and distribution of the Navy’s equipment.

Since his time there, the department has seen major improvements, even as his team also had to battle with the coronavirus pandemic in the final months of his command.

“We have fixed a lot of airplanes in my past two years here right, to be exact 297 combined different ems’s and support the Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, and we also had fixed about 37,000 plus components, which includes an engine that goes into a ship imagine that, we’re doing that areas in the southwest that is so well dispersed all over the globe so my hats off to the team.”

Last year, he had been promoted to captain — a rank that even fewer Filipino sailors have reached, and as he left his post, Obellos called on his sailors to continue their duties, especially amidst the pandemic.

“We have another season coming up, and there will always be challenges we all have to face, if we expect if we expect to be the champion we need to work as a team, team aviation San Diego, the season has come and COVID-19 came, and you had and are doing a splendid job.”

Captain Obellos isn’t the only sailor in his family making waves. His two sons Kris and EJ have been serving and touring, earning lieutenant and lieutenant junior grade honors, respectively.

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