SAN DIEGO, CA — The guided missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) held a change of command ceremony in San Diego, Calif., November 19.
Cmdr. Amy M. McInnis, relieved Cmdr. John J. Fay, as commanding officer and became Howard’s tenth commanding officer since its commissioning in 2001.
The ceremony marked the end of a successful 19 month assignment for Fay in which he commanded Howard during an independent Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployment, a 5 month CNO Selected Restricted Availability, and led the ship through multiple required training phase certifications.
“Command of Howard was the most satisfying tour of my career,” said Fay. “I owe tremendous thanks to the crew for all their hard work.”
Capt. Christopher Engdahl, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, was the guest speaker at Thursday’s ceremony. He spoke proudly of Howard’s performance during the ship’s short time in DESRON 9 and his excitement for McInnis’ first command tour.
Fay will report to Carrier Strike Group 5 for his next duty assignment.
McInnis is a graduate of Duquesne University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. She earned a commission in 1998 after graduating from Officer Candidate School following a five year enlisted career as a radioman. She earned a Master of Science degree in Global Leadership from San Diego State University in 2004 and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in 2008. McInnis most recently completed a successful 18 month tour as executive officer on board Howard.
“I would like to thank Cmdr. Fay for the last 18 months and [for] preparing me for this job,” said McInnis. “To the crew, it's a complete honor and privilege to be your commanding officer. I look forward to serving with you and continuing the Howard legacy as we take the ship through INSURV (Board of Inspection and Survey) and her next deployment.”
USS Howard (DDG 83) is homeported in San Diego, Calif. and is assigned to Carrier Strike Group 11.