PACIFIC OCEAN – Cmdr. Gina McCaine relieved Cmdr. James Juster as commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77) during a change of command ceremony at sea, Nov. 19.
McCaine, the former executive officer of O’Kane, became the ship’s 11th commanding officer since the ship’s commissioning Oct. 23, 1999.
“I am profoundly humbled and deeply honored to have been chosen to command one of our Navy’s premiere BMD [ballistic missile defense] destroyers,” said McCaine. “O’Kane’s crew has risen to every challenge during my time as executive officer, and it is a privilege to continue to serve with such extraordinary shipmates.”
For Juster, the ceremony marked the end of a successful 18 month command tour highlighted by a nine month deployment to U.S. 5th and 7th fleets where O’Kane conducted numerous demanding missions with various carrier strike groups. He reported to O’Kane in October 2011 as the ship’s executive officer prior to taking command in May 2013.
“It was the honor and privilege of a lifetime for me to serve with this fine crew,” said Juster. “No ship can go out to sea and operate safely without an outstanding crew. I was fortunate enough to have one of the best on the waterfront.”
Juster’s next assignment will be a staff position at the Pentagon.