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Dextrous Holds Change of Command

By By U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs | February 21, 2019

MANAMA, Bahrain --

With its railings dressed and signal flags proudly displayed, the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Dextrous (MCM 13) hosted a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Feb. 21.

Lt. Cmdr. Jordan Stutzman relieved Lt. Cmdr. Robert Toohig Jr. as Dextrous’ commanding officer during the pierside ceremony. Capt. Jeffrey Morganthaler, commodore of U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 52, was the guest speaker.
 

“Rob, thanks for all that you have done… being in a maintenance period is not an easy thing to execute,” said Morganthaler. “You have done it well and the crew reflects the focus you have kept on ensuring things are done the right way.”

 

During the traditional ceremony, the outgoing commanding officer expressed his gratitude to the Dextrous crew.

 

“We are a family, honest and direct, ready to answer all bells, put ordnance down range, communicate professionally, navigate skillfully and kill any mine,” said Toohig. “This year is full of opportunity – seize it, complete the clean sweep and earn the reputation as the best MCM in the fleet!”

Before relieving Toohig as commanding officer, Stutzman served as Dextrous' executive officer in a “fleet-up” role.

After assuming command, Stutzman told the audience about his visits to decommissioned U.S. Navy battleships, discussing the heritage, tradition and fighting spirit that those ships embodied in service. Though the Navy has changed since those ships sailed, much remains the same about Sailors’ commitment.

 

“Dextrous, I look forward to carrying on the same values and traditions with you as we prepare to take [the ship] down range and over the horizon.”
 

Dextrous is one of four mine countermeasures ships forward-deployed to Bahrain. Operationally, the ship falls under Task Force 52 while commander, Naval Surface Squadron (CNSS) 5 exercises administrative control.

 

TF 52 is the mine countermeasures force of U.S. 5th Fleet. It operates regularly to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the Arabian Gulf, one of the world's most critical bodies of water for international maritime traffic.

 

The U.S. Navy’s mine countermeasures assets are divided between three separate legs - consisting of airborne, surface and underwater mine countermeasures. The four forward-deployed mine countermeasures ships in Bahrain represent the surface element.


U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.