Q&A with USS Tempest’s Last Commanding Officer

By NAVCENT Public Affairs | March 07, 2022

MANAMA, Bahrain --

 Patrol coastal ship USS Tempest (PC 2) decommissioned during a ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, March 7, marking the end of 29 years of U.S. Navy service. Tempest’s last commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Matthew J. Intoccia, recently answered questions on what leading the ship’s final U.S. crew has meant to him.

Q: What has the experience been like serving as the last U.S. crew aboard Tempest?
A: We were able to accomplish big things, especially for the smallest ship in the U.S. Navy’s inventory. One quote that I found in my research of her 29 years of service that reflects this sentiment best was on a plaque presented to Tempest in 1994 to commemorate her good work during Operation Support Democracy. It said, “Proof that small units can perform big jobs.” This crew embodied that sentiment every day.

Q: How has the ship’s motto guided you and the crew while operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet region?
A: “Perseverance and Courage” can be found on every correspondence and official message we have released to date. It’s more than just a motto, it’s an ethos. U.S. 5th Fleet is a dynamic operating environment that requires units like Tempest to embrace resilience. I believe to be resilient you must persevere and be courageous. That is why we hold “Perseverance and Courage” as our guiding light, and we have been fortunate to see success because of it.

Q: What has been your proudest moment while serving aboard Tempest?
A: The capstone of my time on Tempest is undoubtedly our last patrol. I consider it a culmination of all the hard work and dedication over our past 18 months. Together, with our battle buddy USS Typhoon and our embarked U.S. Coast Guard team, we conducted multiple interdictions with a high seizure yield. In my opinion, we reached the apex of the ship’s capability during that patrol and I could not be more proud of my crew’s performance.

Q: What do you see as Tempest’s lasting legacy?
A: I hope Tempest is remembered as a capable bastion of our nation’s commitment to free and unimpeded navigation in the maritime domain, and for her rich legacy of joint and multinational cooperation. Small in stature and crew but mighty in deed, Tempest has been operated by our country’s best during 29 years of U.S. Navy service.

Q: What is next for the Tempest crew?
A: We will be redeployed worldwide – some to ships in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and others to much needed shore duty in the United States or here in Bahrain. We look forward to the opportunities ahead.