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Pinkerton Relieves Spear as Commanding Officer of USS Tucson
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Luciano Marano
COMSUBPAC Public Affairs

Released: February 27, 2009

Commander Paul D. Spear is piped ashore after being relieved as USS Tucson (SSN 770) commanding officer by Commander Gary Pinkerton in a change of command ceremony at Naval Station Pearl Harbor on Friday, Feb. 27. Tucson is the 59th Los Angeles-class attack submarine to be built and the second ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name of the Arizona city.PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii Cmdr. Gary W. Pinkerton relieved Cmdr. Paul D. Spear as commanding officer of USS Tucson (SSN 770) in a ceremony at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Friday, Feb. 27.

Captain Christopher Kaiser, Commander, Submarine Squadron Seven (CSS-7) presided over the ceremony and recognized the hard work and dedication of the Tucson crew.

“I know it has not always seemed like it, but the hard work and dedication you demonstrated in taking this remarkable warship through an intense shipyard maintenance availability and then delivering her to the fleet, modernized and ready to fight, has been invaluable,” said Kaiser. 

Following Kaiser’s remarks, Cmdr. Spear addressed the guests and thanked the crew for a successful and rewarding tour. 

“I can’t begin to introduce you to all of my men, there are 140 of them and they all have great stories,” Spear told the guests.  “Most of all they are great Americans and I would go into battle with any one and all of them.” 

Since assuming command in September 2006, Spear has lead the Tucson to victory as they received the 2006 CSS-7 Battle Efficiency and Pacific Fleet Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Award, as well as the 2008 CSS-7 Safety Award.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with the men of the Tucson and having conquered that beast called the shipyard, we are all home where we belong in Pearl Harbor,” said Spear.  “I look forward to hearing of your success stories.” 
 As Cmdr. Pinkerton assumed command of Tucson, he let his new crew know he is well prepared for the task of serving as their commanding officer. 

“I am both excited and extremely humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this talented crew in one of the Navy’s most advanced warships on missions that are vital to the security of this great nation,” said Pinkerton. 

Spear enlisted in the Navy as a Machinist Mate in 1982, and after graduating from Auburn University under the Nuclear Enlisted Commissioning Program with a degree in Materials Science in 1987, he was commissioned in 1988 following Officer Candidate School.