HAIFA, Israel– The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) held a change of command ceremony in the helicopter hangar bay while inport Haifa, Israel, Mar. 15.
During the ceremony Cmdr. Kevin Robinson turned over command of Mason to Cmdr. Adan Cruz.
“I would like to thank all the great men and women of the crew that helped to make my tour as commanding officer successful,” said Robinson. “I couldn’t have done it without [you].”
Robinson, a native of Chicago, said that he was very proud of the ship’s performance during workups and the first two months of its six-month deployment.
“I’ve never served with more capable Sailors than on Mason,” said Robinson. “Over the time I’ve been CO, I’ve seen this crew grow stronger and rise up to the challenge of a demanding workup cycle and deployment. I am proud to have been a part of that.”
Robinson continued saying that he was confident that his successor will maintain the high standards of performance Mason has gained over the past few months.
“Cmdr. Cruz is a fine naval officer, and we will continue to offer support to our Navy wherever need be, in the best manner possible,” he said.
Cruz, a native of Brentwood, N.Y., began his tenure as commanding officer by thanking all those who have helped him to reach this pinnacle in his Navy career.
“My family and mentors have been the driving force in bringing me to this point,” said Cruz. “I have to thank Cmdr. Robinson for turning over command to me with the upmost professionalism. His leadership has brought this ship to a very high status in the US destroyer’s community.”
Cruz expressed his enthusiasm in facing the challenges of a deployment and bringing it to a successful conclusion.
“I have only heard great things about this crew,” said Cruz. “And I am very excited to be in command of such a professional group of Sailors. Together we will complete the mission that our country has set out for us and return home proud and successful.”
Mason is homeported out of Norfolk, Va., and is operating in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility on a scheduled deployment.