MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Yuhas was relieved by Lt. Cmdr. Michael T. McArawas as commanding officer of the Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) pierside at Naval Support Activity Bahrain on June 27.
Coastal Patrol Squadron (PCRON) 1 Deputy Commander Lt. Cmdr. Scott Whitworth spoke at the ceremony.
"Yuhas is a true professional and prudent mariner," said Whitworth. "His leadership and love for leading Sailors is what made Thunderbolt a great ship."
When Yuhas' term as commanding officer started March 29, 2016, the ship was in dry dock. Under his direction, the crew left dry dock, became fully trained and put out to sea in just six months. Yuhas, a native of Cave Creek, Arizona, will head to Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tennessee, to become the early command and second tour department head detailer.
"I was honored to serve with the hardest working Americans I've ever seen - who gave their all every day to ensure Thunderbolt was ready for anything," said Yuhas. "The crew has accomplished a ton and has a lot to be proud of."
McArawas, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, whose previous command was combat systems officer of USS Monterey (CG 61), will serve as Thunderbolt's commanding officer for the next two years.
"There is no greater honor as a surface warfare officer than leading Sailors at sea," said McArawas. "Thunderbolt and her crew are impressive and I am excited to be a member of this professional group of warfighters who stand willing and ready to answer the call."
Thunderbolt is one of 10 PCs forward deployed to Manama, Bahrain and is assigned to Task Force 55, which is responsible for all surface forces in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, to include U.S. Navy coastal patrol ships and U.S. Coast Guard cutters.
U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
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