- USS McClusky (FFG 41) held a change of command ceremony at sea Oct. 8, where Commander Mark A. Lakamp turned over command of the guided missile frigate to Commander Darren Glaser.
The ceremony marked the end of a successful 22-month command tour for Lakamp. Recently he led McClusky through a Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise and a six-month Eastern Pacific independent deployment in support of counter-illicit trafficking operations.
While the RIMPAC 2010 exercise marked its 22nd biennial occurrence and increased McClusky's tactical proficiency and interoperability with 13 other partner nations, the independent deployment strengthened theater security cooperation ties between the United States, Panama, Columbia and Costa Rica in the 4th Fleet area of responsibility.
During the six-month deployment, McClusky prevented more than 11 metric tons of cocaine from reaching U.S. streets and arrested 13 suspected drug-trafficking organization operatives. Lakamp led the men and women of McClusky, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 45 Detachment 3 and United States Coast Guard, Pacific Area Tactical Law Enforcement Detachments 104 and 105, in cooperation with local law enforcement and Naval Forces during Operation Pacifico and Operation Triangulo in a joint effort in the war on drugs. They also prevented over three quarters of a billion dollars in illicit revenue from supporting narco-terrorist groups.
"It has been a privilege and a blessing to serve with the men and women of McClusky. Their ability to do what's right all the time made my job easy. No other commanding officer has had as enjoyable of a tour as I had on McClusky. I know the crew is going to treat my relief with the same level of professionalism and pride they showed me every day," said Lakamp, whose next tour will be as the surface operations officer at Commander, Carrier Strike Group 11 in San Diego.
Cmdr. Glaser, incoming commanding officer, earned his commission in January 1993 through Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps ROTC at the University of Kansas, and his master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. He completed sea tours aboard USS Nassau (LHA 4) as main propulsion one officer and fire control officer, USS Shiloh (CG 67) as fire control officer and combat information center officer, and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) as weapons officer and combat systems officer. During his most recent sea tour he served as the executive officer aboard USS Milius (DDG 69).
"I am very honored to be the next commanding officer of USS McClusky," said Glaser. "I'm truly excited to be working with such a fantastic crew. I also look forward to helping to carry on the traditions of this great ship as we continue performing critical national tasking."
USS McClusky is part of Carrier Strike Group 1 and is scheduled to deploy in 2011 in support of counter-illicit trafficking operations.