Commander, Naval Surface Squadron 5 Holds Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dawson Roth | June 06, 2019

NSA BAHRAIN, Bahrain --

Commander Naval Surface Squadron (CNSS) 5 held a change of command ceremony June 6, 2019, on Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

Capt. Christopher Gilbertson was relieved by Cmdr. William Snyder as commander of CNSS 5 in a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet.


“As the Commodore of CNSS-5, Chris and his team have done amazing things for our waterfront and region,” said Malloy. “Keeping these ships well trained, maintained and ready to fight is no easy task, but Chris and his team continue put in the long hours, come in on weekends and travel wherever needed to meet and exceed the mission.”

In his speech, Malloy praised Gilbertson and his team for their work, and expressed his confidence in the incoming CNSS 5 commander before turning over the microphone to Gilbertson.

“To my Sailors, I know of no other team of professionals who dedicate so much to their work,” said Gilbertson. “Nights, weekends, holidays, TAD underway time. I cannot express how proud I am of the work you do.”

Gilbertson and Snyder exchanged salutes and changed command.

After assuming command of CNSS 5, Snyder described the vision for the future.

“To the men and women of the SURFRON FIVE staff and the crews of these 14 ships. I have been amazed and humbled every day at the work you do to keep these ships operating,” said Snyder. ”My promise to you is that I will do everything that I can to make sure that you have all of the tools that you need to continue your important work in service of our country and it is my honor to be able to serve with all of you.”

CNSS 5 serves as the surface type commander's executive agent in Bahrain and will provide support to 10 Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships and four Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

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 is comprised of 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.