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USS Mitscher Conducts Change of Command

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070827-07
Release Date: 8/27/2007 1:33:00 PM

From USS Mitscher Public Affairs

BARBADOS, Caribbean Sea (NNS) -- Cmdr. William P. McKinley was relieved by Cmdr. Dan Uhls as commanding officer of USS Mitscher (DDG 57) during a change of command ceremony Aug. 18 on the island of Barbados.

McKinley assumed command of Mitscher March 3, 2006. During his command, Mitscher reset every certification throughout arduous inspection periods, dramatically improved the material condition of the ship, participated in multi-national exercises and won the Battle "E" for Commander, Destroyer Squadron 22. This was the first Battle "E" for Mitscher in six years.

Mckinley’s tour included Mitscher’s participation in Neptune Warrior 06-3 which began on Oct. 24. This was a two-week multi-national NATO Course involving 12 nations and 27 warships. Neptune Warrior was an outstanding advanced training exercise and Mitscher received accolades for her performance by demonstrating multi-warfare integration while prioritizing competing missions. Mitscher’s tactical proficiency earned her recognition by the exercise director as the course’s “EP” performer.

In February, Mitscher served as the visiting ship for Mardi Gras 2007 in New Orleans. The crew joined in festivities, had the opportunity to participate in “REX” ceremonies, and volunteered their time to work with Habitat for Humanity in the 9th Ward, helping to rebuild homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Mitscher deployed on March 20 to begin her role in a U.S. Navy Task Group conducting Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2007. POA 2007 is focused on humanitarian efforts and enhancing relationships with regional partner nations through a variety of exercises and events at sea and on shore throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. Mitscher is participating in multi-national exercises and theater security cooperation activities.

Mitscher had a chance to participate in many exercises, receive numerous awards and travel to multiple foreign countries during McKinley’s command, but those events were not what defined his time on board.

“Cmdr. McKinley brought high morale back to Mitscher, he made it fun to be at work and taught us to have pride in what we did,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Arron Plaskon. “He always wanted us to exceed our levels of excellence and to set higher standards in both our personal lives and while working on the ship. It was a great honor to be a Mitscher-man during his command.”

“Cmdr. McKinley was always pushing us to higher standers, motivated us to complete qualifications and to help others in qualifications,” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Eden Charles.

While the crew will miss McKinley’s leadership on board Mitscher, they are looking forward to the arrival of Uhls. Uhls most recently served as chief staff officer for Destroyer Squadron 6. Following his tour, he attended the United States Naval War College in 2006, graduating with highest distinction in March with a Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy.

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