USS Benfold Changes Command in Japan

U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) held a change of command ceremony at the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet headquarters U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan on November 30.

Commander Justin L. Harts relieved Commander Michele M. Day as the ship’s commanding officer.

Commander Harts said:

Through mentorship, leadership and teamwork, we will continue to build on the great accomplishments of this ship and her crew. I am proud to take command of what might be the most battle-ready ship in the world, and that is in no small debt to the hard work and dedication of our crew members sitting here today.”

Harts assumed command of Benfold after serving as executive officer aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63).

Day served as commanding officer of Benfold since March 14, 2014. During her time as commanding officer, Benfold completed an assortment of accomplishments despite the challenges of an 85 percent crew turnover while finishing an 18-month Chief of Naval Operations maintenance availability.

In the last year, USS Benfold completed all combat system ship qualification trials and Tier 1 training events. Day highlighted Benfold’s Board of Inspections and Survey (INSURV) score of 83 percent and the highest supply and habitability score the INSURV assessor had ever awarded, which was one week after completing a Type Commander’s (TYCOM) Material Inspection.

Immediately following INSURV, Benfold joined the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in Japan October 16. Shortly after arrival to Japan, Benfold integrated into the Ronald Reagan Strike Group and participated in Annual Exercise 16.

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Image: US Navy