Capt. Elaine A. Collins, of Shoreline Wash., relieved Capt. Todd E. Whalen, a Virginia Beach, Va. native, as commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 during a change of command ceremony Oct. 27 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in the Arabian Gulf.
Whalen served as commodore since July 2019 and oversaw the execution of maintenance, training and deployment preparations for the eight DESRON 9 ships, including USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) and USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), currently deployed as part of Carrier Strike Group 11. DESRON 9 also includes USS Halsey (DDG 97), currently deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet, and USS Howard (DDG 83), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Shoup (DDG 86) and USS Sampson (DDG 102). Whalen led three additional destroyers assigned to Carrier Strike Group 11 in U.S. 5th Fleet.