SAN DIEGO - USS MILIUS (DDG 69) held a change of command ceremony today. CDR R. Trevor King turned over command of the guided ballistic missile destroyer to CDR Nicholie Bufkin.
The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 18-month command tour for King. He led MILIUS through a 7-month independent deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the deployment, the crew interacted extensively with several foreign navies in the Fifth and Seventh Fleet areas of operation.
During this period, MILIUS conducted Iraqi Infrastructure Protection Operations, in Iraqi waters, established sea control and maritime domain awareness and protected the Al-Basra Oil Terminal. MILIUS also worked extensively with allied forces and participated in maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf, enhancing relationships with foreign coastal states and providing security to local merchantmen. MILIUS earned the reputation as the finest Tomahawk firing platform in Fifth Fleet during strike scenarios and set the precedent as the first ship to establish cross-theater data link connectivity for tracking and intercepting ballistic missiles.
“The culmination of a successful tour is all about the Sailors and their accomplishments,” said CDR King. “Without the daily support of their friends, families and spouses, none of us would do what we do. I’m so appreciative for them volunteering and doing the work everyday for their nation.”
CDR King’s next tour will be on the staff of Chief of Naval Operations in the Surface Warfare Directorate (N86), as the Littoral Combat Ship Requirements Officer.
CDR Bufkin, incoming Commanding Officer, is a graduate of University of Minnesota and Colorado Technical University where she earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Management. She previously completed sea tours aboard USS PETERSON (DD 969), USS PLATTE (AO 186), USS INCHON (MCS 12), USS CURTIS WILBUR (DDG 59), USS ANZIO (CG 68), as a Flag Secretary for Carrier Strike Group NINE (ABRAHAM LINCOLN Strike Group) and USS MOBILE BAY (CG 53). She recently completed a Joint Tour at US Africa Command.
“I am proud to be the new Commanding Officer,” said CDR Bufkin. “It is the highest privilege to serve on an operational vessel at sea. We have a challenging schedule ahead of us, but I know we can accomplish the mission.”
USS MILIUS is an independent deployer in Destroyer Squadron 21 and is scheduled to deploy later this year.