Mine Countermeasures Squadron 3 Holds Change of Command

by Commander, Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs
12 October 2018
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Photo By: MC2 JACOB ALLISON
VIRIN: 210114-N-N0831-0006
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO (October 12, 2018) The officers, crew, and friends of Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 3 and attached ships gathered in front of the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Ardent (MCM 4) for a change of command ceremony and retirement onboard Naval Base San Diego, Oct. 12.

During the ceremony, Capt. Patrick Thien relieved Capt. Jeffrey Cronin as Commodore, MCMRON 3.

The commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Richard Brown, was the guest speaker for the event.

“[Cronin] paved the way for future mine countermeasure operations,” said Brown. “Everything now is about sea control, and the nation who executes mine warfare better than their enemies will more easily gain that control, period. He has done an exceptional job preparing his staff and squadron for this fight.”

Cronin assumed command of the squadron in January 2017, leading the reinvention of the MCMRON as an active deploying force while preparing for the transition from the Avenger-class to the new Littoral Combat Ship classes, Freedom and Independence. As part of the ceremony, Cronin retired after 28 years of service.

“Back in early 2015, we were a squadron focused solely on our four ships in Bahrain. Their readiness was all that mattered. Since 2004, the ships here were training platforms for crews rotating out to Bahrain,” said Cronin. “When we stopped the rotational crews in 2015, that shift was a game changing opportunity. It allowed us to change our internal orientation and allowed us to restore this squadron to operational relevance.”

Thien’s prior commands include operations officer, Carrier Strike Group One, commanding officer, USS Whirlwind (PC 11), and commanding officer of LCS Crew 101 for USS Freedom (LCS 1).

“Jeff, you’ve had a long tenured and positive influence on the MCM community,” said Thien. “Thank you for all of the efforts and I hope I can have half the impact you’ve had.”

The operational mission of MCMRON 3 is to conduct prompt and sustained combat and non-combat operations by coordinating the employment of surface MCM ships and crews assigned to the squadron. Administratively, MCMRON 3 supports the type commander by providing trained crews and materially ready ships for deployment to fleet commanders.
 
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