– 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
“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.