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DESRON 50 Changes Hands

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080608-01
Release Date: 6/8/2008 8:54:00 PM

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Capt. Karl Van Deusen assumed command of Destroyer Squadron 50 during a ceremony held aboard USS Dextrous, June 5.

Van Deusen relieved Capt. Paul Severs who has commanded the squadron since March 2007.

"It's been a great tour," said Severs. "I had the opportunity to work with U.S. Navy Sailors as well as sailors from the Australian, British and Iraqi navies. Working with these dedicated professionals in both the U.S. and coalition navies has been the highlight of my command tour."

Rear Adm. Scott Swift served as the guest speaker for the ceremony and praised Severs' accomplishments as well as the accomplishments of the sailors in his command.

"DESRON 50's success is not just a testament to Severs' ability as commanding officer, but it is a testament to every member of the team at every level," said Swift, speaking to the members of the squadron.

Along with assuming command of DESRON 50, Van Deusen also serves as Commander Task Force 55, which fills many roles in support of CTF 158 as one of three rotational Combined Task Groups. Additionally, CTF 55 provides oversight of all coalition facilities and equipment on Iraq's oil terminals, the Al Basra Oil Terminal (ABOT) and the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT), and also provides for mine warfare training and readiness as well as surface excercises.

CTF 158's primary mission is conducting Maritime Security Operations around KAAOT and ABOT in support of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1790. This resolution charges the multinational force with the responsibility and authority to maintain security and stability in the Iraqi territorial waters and also supports the Iraqi government's request for security support. Iraq's oil platforms account for about 90 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

Prior to assuming command of DESRON 50, Van Deusen worked in the Operations (J-3) directorate on the Staff at the Pentagon.

"I am excited to continue the great work of Capt. Severs and his team," said Van Deusen, "DESRON 50's mission is so unique and wide ranging, there is opportunity to expand and improve upon both the coalition and multi-national relationships in theater."

DESRON 50 conducts MSO in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. These operations help develop security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity. These operations complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.



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