During a Change of Command ceremony held onboard USS Midway on October 12, 2016 Commander Richard Robbins relieved Commander Gill McCarthy as Commanding Officer of USS Russell (DDG 59).
The guest speaker for the event was Captain Tom Williams, Commander of Destroyer Squadron Two Three, who discussed the reliability of Russell during Commander McCarthy’s tenure as CO, “Every day when Captain McCarthy was deployed with RUSSELL, I received the Chief Naval Operations daily brief and saw that when RUSSELL was underway on mission she was ready.”
Following Captain Williams’ words, Commander McCarthy thanked the Commodore and praised his crew, "Nothing brings me more pride than seeing the maturity, discipline, knowledge, and judgment that marks you as Russell Destroyermen; and nothing has ever granted me more honor than serving on Russell and being allowed to be your shipmate. He continued by praising Commander Robbins, “The ability and vision you had directly translated into the success of Russell, and I can’t wait to see how much further you take them.”
Commander Robbins then complemented Commander McCarthy, “You were the right person to have command of this ship as she transitioned from a prolonged maintenance availability through a demanding training phase and onto a high successful deployment," He then addressed his crew, "To the wardroom, Chief’s Mess and crew onboard Russell, I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve with you as your Commanding Officer.”
McCarthy assumed command of Russell on June 11, 2015, leading the ship through numerous fleet-level inspections, a visit to Portland, Oregon for the annual Portland Rose Festival and a highly successful 7-month deployment to the United States Pacific and Central Commands.
McCarthy's next tour of duty will be on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Commander Robbins most recently completed a tour as Russell's Executive Officer. He has also completed tours aboard USS Princeton (CG 59) and USS Halsey (DDG 97) as well as on the staff of Destroyer Squadron Seven.
Russell is currently in CNO maintenance availability in preparation for a return to active fleet operations.