By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elijah G. Leinaar, USS Mustin Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb 24, 2017) – Cmdr. Warren D. Smith relieved Cmdr. Thane C. Clare as commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) during a change of command ceremony at Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka, Feb. 24.
Clare assumed command of Mustin in August 2015, and will serve his next tour at the Pentagon.
“I have no words that can adiquitly describe the experience of being so humbled and amazed by your [the Mustin crew’s] sacrifice, skill and confidance and your steadfast devotion to duty.” said Clare. “It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve as your captain, and I hope you know how grateful I’ve been to watch you in action.”
Under Clare’s command, Mustin participated in numerous bi-lateral and multi-lateral exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) in addition to U.S. exercises throughout the 7th Fleet area of operations, including the South China Sea, Philippine Sea and waters near the Korean peninsula. Mustin’s exceptional performance in a mid-cycle Board of Inspection of Survey (INSURV), earned some of the highest scores awarded to a forward-deployed ship.
Other command achievements under Clare, include multiple shipboard certifications including a surface warfare readiness effectiveness measurement, a Chief of Naval Operations Restricted Availability, JMSDF Fleet Review, ROKN Pass and Review, Maritime Counter Special Operations Exercise 2016, and Guam Exercise 2016. Mustin also conducted a high profile visit to Cam Rahn international port, Vietnam. Clare led Mustin in earning the fourth Battle Efficiency award since the ship’s commissioning.
Mustin’s new commanding officer, Cmdr. Smith, is a California native. His most recent assignments include The Joint Staff as continuity planner and as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Nuclear, Homeland Defense, & Current Operations.
“To the Sailors of Musting … your dedication, willingness to sacrifice for the mission and care for one another is unmatched,” said Smith. “What you do on a daily basis makes a difference in the lives every one of our loved ones back home.”
Mustin’s namesake honors the Mustin family who has held an honorable lineage of naval service dating back to 1896. Presently the ship is forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation.