USS Sterett, San Diego – The guided missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) held a change on command ceremony in San Diego, July 31st.
Cmdr. Stewart Bateshansky relieved Cmdr. Rich McDaniel as commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and became the ship’s fourth commanding officer since commissioning in 2008.
McDaniel assumed command of Sterett in March 2011 while the ship was on her maiden deployment in the 5th fleet area of responsibility (AOR). Since assuming command, McDaniel has led Sterett to the completion of her maiden deployment, guided Sterett through a selected restricted availability, a series of rigorous pre-deployment inspections, and successfully completed an additional seven month deployment to the 5th and 7th fleet AORs from December 2011 to July 2012. Sterett was awarded the Battle ‘E’ in February 2012 for outstanding operational performance across all warfare areas. McDaniel was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his performance as Sterett’s commanding officer.
“I am absolutely honored to serve as commanding officer for such a stellar ship and have the privilege of leading the finest Americans our country has to offer. My time in command went entirely too fast. I am absolutely confident that Cmdr. Bateshansky will continue the same legacy of excellence. He is an absolute professional that will lead Sterett to accomplish even greater things in the future,” said McDaniel.
Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Three, was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s ceremony. Gaouette and McDaniel previously served together on the USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) from 1996 to 1997. Aboard Paul Hamilton, Gaouette served as the executive officer and McDaniel served as first lieutenant, strike officer, and maritime intercept operations boarding officer.
“Throughout her recent deployment, Sterett’s performance was second to none,” said Gaouette. “[McDaniel] represents excellence and he is a proven warrior at sea.” Gouette also expressed his confidence in McDaniel’s successor by saying, “Cmdr Bateshansky is clearly ready to take the reigns of command.”
Bateshansky earned his commission through the NROTC program in 1994 after graduating from the University of Oklahoma. He also holds an M.S. in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and has earned his command and staff diploma from the Naval War College. Bateshansky previously served aboard USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Juneau (LPD 10), USS Milius (DDG 69), and USS Sampson (DDG 102).
McDaniel’s next duty assignment will be in Washington, D.C., as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institute.
USS Sterett returned to San Diego from her second deployment in July 2012 and is part of Destroyer Squadron 9. Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 also includes USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2. CSG 9 is deployed conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts, and support missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.