Story By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devon Dow
PHILIPPINE SEA – Commander, Task Force 70 Rear Adm. John R. Haley visited guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) Nov. 2 to meet with the crew and show his appreciation for their efforts in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
During his time onboard, Haley met with Mustin senior leadership followed by a lunch in the wardroom prepared by Mustin culinary specialists. After lunch, Haley toured workspaces on the ship, spoke with Mustin’s chief petty officer mess and junior Sailors on the mess decks.
“Shipmates, it is great to be onboard Mustin, I really do appreciate the phenomenal work you all have been doing out here,” Haley said during his words to the crew. “Mustin is a great ship. She has a great crew and your performance during this patrol has exceeded standards across the board. When I see Mustin steaming in the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Battle Group, it puts a good feeling in my heart and makes me feel a little bit safer.”
Mustin Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Peter Bernard said Haley’s visit to the ship was well received and that he was proud to hear the praise Haley gave the crew’s for their sea operation performance.
“The Mustin Nation was honored to have Adm. Haley visit today,” Bernard said. “This crew works hard day in and day out and to hear from our leadership that we are exceeding expectations is rewarding. Today, I believe he got a chance to see first hand just how professional this crew truly is.”
As Haley toured Mustin spaces, he rewarded Sailors for their performance with his command coin and spoke with them personally on a variety of topics, ranging from the Sailor’s hometown to current events and their responsibilities everyday at sea.
While visiting with junior Sailors on the mess decks, Haley pinned Information Systems Technician 2nd Class (IDW) Monica Staffend, with her newly earned enlisted surface warfare (ESWS) qualification.
“It was a lot of work, but I am very happy that I earned my ESWS pin; to have the admiral pin me was an added treat,” she said. “It was great to have him visit us today.”
Interior Communications Electrician Seaman Zaquarius Grissom said her chance to meet and talk with Haley was something she thought she would never do so early in her Navy career.
“For me, being an E-3 and not only meeting an admiral, but personally receiving his coin is pretty cool,” she said. “His words to us today meant a lot, it is nice to see that he supports us. So much so, that he personally came out to see us while we are underway.”
Earlier during Mustin’s patrol on Sept. 27, the crew was visited by Commander, Pacific Fleet, Adm. Ceil Haney during the ship’s port visit to Malaysia in conjunction with the 2012 Western Pacific Naval Symposium.
Mustin, commanded by Cmdr. Joseph Ring, is one of seven guided missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON 15) and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.