KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Cmdr. John Mosier Jr. took the helm of USS Honolulu (SSN 718) from Cmdr. John Russ at the ship's final change of command ceremony, Dec. 11 at Naval Undersea Museum Keyport's Jack Murdock Auditorium.
Mosier will be commanding officer (CO) until Honolulu's expected decommissioning in the spring of 2007.
Rear Adm. David Gove, commander, Navy Personal Command and deputy chief of Personnel, commended Russ for his accomplishments as well as the outstanding work of the crew.
"This is a great opportunity to honor Cmdr. Russ's service as CO of USS Honolulu and welcome Cmdr. Mosier to this important assignment as his relief," said Gove. "An important part of being an effective commanding officer is to create an environment where its Sailors can grow, learn and prosper, both personally and professionally. From what I've heard, you [Russ] have done this perfectly."
During Russ's tenure as Honolulu's commanding officer, he continued more than 20 years of tradition including patrols and participating in various training evolutions. In an emotional speech, he thanked the crew and his family for their support, which he attributes to his success during strenuous periods.
"During the ship's 10-month interim dry docking availability, I continue to marvel and take pride in my crew's tremendous dedication, perseverance and hard work during those trying times," said Russ.
Mosier was proud to be the last captain of Honolulu. He thanked everyone in attendance for taking part in the historical event and asked his crew for their support and thanked them for the chance to lead.
"To the crew, I'm blessed to be your final commanding officer," said Mosier. "Thank you all for welcoming me as your fellow warrior and providing a perfect turnover during your well deserved stand-down period."
Though USS Honolulu is concluding its final chapter in the history of the U.S. Navy, parts of the ship will continue to be in the forefront in the war on terrorism. The ship's forward compartment will soon be transferred to USS San Francisco (SSN 711).
"I have been aboard this ship for eight months and have really enjoyed my time," said Yeoman Seaman Apprentice Jarad Reich. "My experience has been very good and I'm going to miss this ship. It's going to be a hard act to follow."
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