DESRON 9 Welcomes New Commander

By Lt. jg. Caitlin Parks and Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffry Willadsen

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) – Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony in the Grand Vista Ballroom on Naval Station Everett (NSE), Jan. 21.

Capt. Christopher M. Engdahl, a native of South Bend, Ind., relieved Capt. William M. Triplett, from Baltimore, of his duties as DESRON 9 commander during the ceremony.

“This has been a remarkable tour of duty; that doesn’t just happen, it takes a team of professionals,” Triplett said, referencing the Sailors he worked with during his tour. “You all do a great job, and I have truly been inspired by your professionalism.”

During his tour as commodore, Triplett served as both the Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) for four guided-missile destroyers and three guided-missile frigates, based at NSE, Naval Station San Diego, and Naval Station Pearl Harbor; he also acted as the Sea Combat Commander (SCC) for the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9.

As CSG 9’s SCC, Triplett coordinated the training of five ships in surface and sub-surface defense in preparation for independent deployment to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as the Arabian Gulf. Additionally, he acted as the Sea Combat Commander mentor for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy during the Rim of the Pacific Exercise from July to August 2014.

Guest speaker Capt. William F. Mosk, a native of Newport Beach, Calif. and chief of staff of CSG 9, spoke highly of Triplett’s work during his tour.

“Will’s performance as the Destroyer Squadron Commander and the Reagan Strike Group Sea Combat Commander has been nothing short of spectacular,” said Mosk. “In fact, DESRON 9 has been at the forefront of every operational success this strike group has enjoyed in the last two years. Will handled all challenges with skill and diplomacy, as a Destroyer Squadron Commander, [he] has done a masterful job.”

Triplett expressed pride in the people he commanded, as well as sadness at leaving his post.

“You are the reason that I had a job. I always measured our success by your success, and, by that metric, we are all successful,” said Triplett, addressing the Sailors assigned to ships under DESRON 9’s command. “I was and am so very proud of you, and it was my high honor to be your commodore.”

Triplett also expressed confidence in Engdahl’s skill as a leader.

“I know that this squadron is in very good, steady hands,” he said.

Engdahl has served as the deputy commander of DESRON 9 since July 2013. He has also served as commanding officer aboard USS Elrod (FFG 55).

After reading his orders and taking command of the DESRON, he expressed excitement about his new role.

“This is going to be a fantastic tour and a fantastic team effort,” said Engdahl. “I am really looking forward to it.”

Triplett’s next assignment is to Washington, D.C., where he will serve in the Pentagon on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.

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