NS Everett Community
DESRON 9 Change of Command
EVERETT, Wash. – Capt. Todd E. Whalen relieved Capt. Kyle J. Colton as commander of Destroyer Squadron 9 during a change of command ceremony aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) at Naval Station Everett July 9.
Colton served as commander of DESRON 9 since February 2018 and oversaw the execution of maintenance, training and deployment preparations for the seven DESRON 9 ships. Additionally, Colton acted as Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Sea Combat Commander for two joint exercises, Fleet Synthetic Exercise and Pacific Sentry.
Capt. Richard Weitzel, Carrier Strike Group 11 Chief of Staff, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker and presiding officer. He presented Colton with the Legion of Merit and praised him for his superb leadership.
“Our leaders need to be bold and tenacious in their success, just like you. Thank you for a job well done.” Said Weitzel.
Colton gave recognition to the DESRON 9 Staff.
“Thank you to the Sailors of the DESRON 9 staff. It was my distinct honor and privilege to be your Commodore. You are the best. Remember it takes a lot to stay the best, so please give Capt. Whalen the same effort and attitude you gave me every day,” said Colton.
Colton will assume duties at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Assessment Division (N81).
As Commander of DESRON 9, Whalen is responsible for the crew, training and readiness of seven guided-missile destroyers, and the tactical execution of Sea Combat Commander duties for Nimitz Carrier Strike Group.