Cmdr. John S. Barsano relieved Cmdr. Luke A. Frost as commanding officer of USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) during a change of command ceremony held Sept. 26 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“The degree of dedication demonstrated by you all and your families to pour your time, talent and treasure into this call to service is absolutely incredible and humbling and demanded my best effort every single day, because that’s what you gave. I know without a doubt that over the last 40 months, I took much more from Paul Hamilton than I could ever give, and I thank each and every one of you for that,” Frost told the crew.
Frost assumed command in May 2013 in the midst of Paul Hamilton’s extended ballistic missile defense deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. During his command tour, Paul Hamilton completed its nine-month ballistic missile defense deployment, executing simultaneous and coordinated air, surface and undersea warfare operations across three geographic theaters supporting three fleet commanders, three combined task forces and four carrier strike groups.
Additionally, Paul Hamilton completed a comprehensive six-month maintenance overhaul and a rigorous compressed training cycle, certifying 19 mission areas and completing the 26-week BMD basic phase in 19 weeks.
Frost is scheduled for transfer to Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Forces Pacific to serve as force operations officer. Barsano assumed the position of executive officer of USS Paul Hamilton on April 9, 2013.
“I am excited to take command of a ship from somebody I truly admire,” Barsano said.
“To the crew of this great warship, and it truly is you that makes the ship great. Nothing in my life prepared me for the feeling I have today or the feeling of pride I have in you. I look forward to building on all that you have achieved here under Cmdr. Frost’s leadership. It is the honor of a lifetime to serve as your commanding officer,” he said.
Barsano is a native of Chicago and enlisted in the Navy in 1988. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School in 1997 through the Seaman to Admiral Program. He holds a bachelor in business administration with an emphasis in finance and marketing from the University of San Diego.
Barsano’s sea tours include serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. His operational division officer assignments include duty as ordnance/gunnery officer aboard USS Crommelin (FFG 37) and main propulsion assistant aboard USS Port Royal (CG 73).
As a department head, he served as engineer officer aboard USS Russell (DDG 59). Barsano commanded USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Firebolt (PC 10), and USS Whirlwind (PC 11) home ported in Little Creek, Va. and Manama, Bahrain with Patrol Coastal Crew HOTEL.
In addition to the shift of command from Frost to Barsano, USS Paul Hamilton changed its immediate superior in command from the Sea Warriors of Destroyer Squadron 31 to the Rampant Lions of Destroyer Squadron 21.
USS Paul Hamilton was named for the nation’s third secretary of the Navy, serving under President James Madison from 1809 to 1813.