USS Momsen Holds Change of Command

by Ensign Dylan Meek, USS Momsen (DDG 92) public affairs
07 July 2020
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VIRIN: 201231-N-N0831-0015
EVERETT, Wash -- USS Momsen (DDG 92) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Station Everett July 7.
The ceremony marked the passage of command from Cmdr Robert M. Laird to Cmdr William S. Buford, the ship's 15th commanding officer.
Laird assumed command of Momsen in December 2018.
For the safety of the crew, friends and family, the ceremony was limited to immediate family members, honored guests, and a few representatives from every department. All guests socially distanced to observe COVID-19 risk mitigation measures.
“What I’m most proud of during my time in command is the crew’s resiliency and ability to deal with every single change that has been thrown their way from the entire 2019 deployment up until now--especially all the challenges associated with COVID-19 and the [Selected Restricted Availability]” said Laird.
During Laird’s time in command, Momsen completed certifications and participated in operations throughout the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations during an 8-month deployment. Those operations included enforcing U.N. sanctions against North Korea, patrolling for countries fishing illegally inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone to uphold the law of the sea, and working closely with regional allied navies. The ship also partnered with the Singaporean navy during Operation Pacific Griffin where the ships conducted joint replenishment-at-sea exercises, anti-submarine operations, and gunnery exercises.
“Build trust, communicate expectations, and keep working hard,” Laird told the crew. “Building trust must be done deliberately because that is what everything else is based on. It takes trust in each other and trust in our chain of command,and that’s what we build our resiliency on.”
Buford has served as Momsen's executive officer since Oct. 2018.  He has previously commanded the Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Chinook (PC 9) and served aboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70), USS Rushmore (LSD 47), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USS San Jacinto (CG 56). Ashore, he has served at Commander, Military Sealift Command and on the Joint Staff.
Commissioned in 2004, USS Momsen is named in honor of Vice Adm. Charles B. Momsen (1896-1967), a recipient of the Navy Cross, Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars and “V” Device, Navy and Army Distinguished Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medal with “V” device, and more. Among many of his notable achievements, Momsen is best known for pioneering submarine rescue for the United States Navy, inventing the underwater escape device later called “Momsen Lung.” USS Momsen’s motto is “Rise Above”.

 
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