From Subic to San Diego, Filipino sailor named Navy commander

CORONADO, CA — Iloilo-born and raised Ernan S. Obellos assumed the command of Navy’s defense logistics agency from commander Matthew Brickhouse on Coronado Island.

Orbellos enlisted in Subic nearly 30 years ago, and his career has taken him throughout the US — his most recent post was supply officer of the USS America home-ported in San Diego.

While many Filipino Americans in San Diego trace their roots to the US Navy, only a handful of Filipinos reach the rank of commander.

“It’s God’s blessings, it’s been an honor to serve the United States Navy,” said Obellos.

As commander of the Navy’s defense logistics agency, he’s responsible for the daily operations of level retail supply, storage and distribution of the Navy’s equipment.

“I propose to first be the best DLA aviation industrial site and second have a blast doing that at the same time.”

As the newly assumed commander settles into his new role, he does it as a proud father of fellow sailors. His two sons are also in the Navy.

“Serving side by side with 2 sons, a naval aviator and a service officer is unthinkable as a father like what I’ve said, we’re here to do the job we’re here to protect the country.”

If duty calls, the next stop for the career sailor is Captain, a rank where even fewer Filipinos have reached.

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