EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) – Sailors stood in formation on the flight deck of USS Momsen (DDG 92) as part of a change of command ceremony while pier side at Naval Station Everett, Sep. 29th.
With the traditional exchange of salutes, Cmdr. Jason Kipp turned over command of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to Cmdr. Elaine Brunelle.
For Kipp, the ceremony marked the end of a successful 37-month tour as executive officer and then commanding officer of the ship. He led Momsen through a seven-month deployment as part of the first Pacific Surface Action Group (PACSAG) along with destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Decatur (DDG 73). This historic deployment re-established the concept of U.S. 3rd Fleet operating forward throughout the Pacific. During the deployment, the crew interacted extensively with several foreign navies in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
For the first half of the deployment, Momsen served as the Flag Ship for the SAG with Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31 embarked. Momsen and the embarked commander worked with other U.S. assets in the region to include Navy maritime patrol aircraft, and Air Force and Marine Corps air assets including B-52 and B-1 bombers. In addition, MOMSEN participated in the bi-annual Valiant Shield exercise, integrating with the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group and also operating separate from the strike group to control U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft.
The ship participated in four multinational exercises, conducted more than 20 underway replenishments and eight transits through ocean straits. After shifting Flag Ship duties to another command, Momsen conducted an Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) patrol with an embarked U.S. Coast Guard detachment. OMSI is a secretary of defense program aimed to diminish transnational illegal activity on the high seas in the Pacific island nations of Oceania's exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and enhance regional security and interoperability with partner nations. During their patrol of the Western Pacific they embarked the U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia for a week of activities in Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.
"It was an absolute pleasure serving with the true professionals onboard Momsen. I will always remember their uncanny ability to ‘Rise Above’ any challenge,” said Kipp. "The spirit of the crew inspired me on a daily basis and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a dedicated group of Sailors that are proud to be part of something bigger than themselves.”
“I am leaving behind a great group of Surface Warriors and feel confident that Momsen rests in good hands," said Kipp.
Kipp's next tour will be as the Director of Surface Ship Undersea Warfare Systems in the Program Executive Office, Integrated Warfare Systems at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
Brunelle who most recently served as the executive officer of Momsen said, “Momsen is a great ship with a very talented crew and is well prepared for the upcoming events. I am honored and privileged to have the great opportunity to continue to be a Lucky Swede!”
Momsen is currently undergoing a selected restricted availability (SRA) and is moored at Naval Station Everett. Momsen is assigned as part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31.