Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Associated Press
BOSTON — The U.S.S. Constitution's new commander is another native New Englander.
The USS Constitution fires a 21-gun salute in honor of America's 237th birthday during the ship's recent Fourth of July turnaround cruise. More than 500 guests went under way with Old Ironsides for a three-hour tour of Boston Harbor in celebration of Independence Day.
U.S. Navy / Sonar Technician 2nd Class Thomas Rooney
Cmdr. Sean Kearns was handed command of the historic warship docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston in a rainy onboard change-of-command ceremony Friday morning.
Kearns, from Hampden, Maine, takes over from Cmdr. Matt Bonner, a Meredith, N.H., native who is moving on to a job at the Pentagon.
Kearns holds degrees from Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He recently completed a tour at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, R.I.
As commander, Kearns' duties are to protect, promote and preserve the ship and oversee a crew of about 75 active-duty sailors.
The Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat, and sails in Boston Harbor several times per year.