JEBEL ALI, United Arab Emirates (NNS) -- Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 held a change of command ceremony while in port Jebel Ali, Jan. 29.
Capt. Michael A. Strano relieved Capt. Richard L. Williams as commander, DESRON 26 in a change of command ceremony.
During Williams' time as DESRON 26, he had success after success and a list of "firsts." As sea combat commander for the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, DESRON 26 planned, coordinated, and executed a major Sink-Exercise of the Ex-USS LaSalle, employing long-range tactics to counter emerging, fifth-generation threats in support of major combat operations.
As commander, Task Group 152.0, Williams breathed new life into Maritime Security Operations through innovative strategic development of a Coalition Task Force campaign, optimizing Expeditionary Strike Force capabilities and an afloat forward staging base with the addition of Central/South Arabian Gulf Navies.
In Norfolk, DESRON 26 earned its reputation as the "go-to" squadron for readiness in support of the Fleet Response Plan. In the course of one year, DESRON 26 ships completed five Board of Inspection and Survey Material Inspections, scoring well above the fleet average.
Williams will report in February to 5th Fleet Headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, as deputy commander for 5th Fleet.
Strano comes to the squadron from Washington, where he was the senior military assistant to the under secretary of defense (comptroller and chief financial officer). Prior to this, he was the executive assistant and naval aide to the assistant secretary of the navy (financial management and comptroller).
At sea, Strano has commanded USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) and USS Oriole (MHC 55). He now assumes command of DESRON 26 and commander, Task Group 152.0 in charge of Maritime Security Operations in the Persian Gulf.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on deployment in the 5th Fleet area of operations, which will include five months in the Persian Gulf supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Maritime Security Operations in support of the war on terrorism.
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