Cmdr. Houssain “Sam” Sareini relieved Cmdr. Donald J. Curran III as the commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) during an Apr. 9 change of command ceremony. The ceremony took place aboard the ship at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.
As the ship’s 11th commanding officer, Curran led Nitze since Nov. 2019.
“This crew has answered the nation’s call when asked time and again.” said Curran. “I could not be more proud, or humbled, to have had the privilege to lead this fine group of Americans.”
During Curran’s tenure, the ship participated in Submarine Commander’s Course 64, Operation CARIBBEAN SHIELD, and supported Joint Interagency Task Force South Counter Narcotics operations. He and his crew executed freedom of navigation operations and interdicted an estimated 2,423 kilograms of cocaine and an estimated 6,151 pounds of marijuana.
Sareini assumed command following an 18-month tour as executive officer, preceded by tours as Deputy Module Head for Surface Warfare in Tactical Training Group Atlantic and Officer-in-Charge in Atlantic Sealift Operations Support Element (ASOSE) in Norfolk, Va.
“I am privileged to take command of Nitze,” said Sareini. “There is no higher honor than to be asked to lead Sailors. This ship is built to fight and we will be ready.”
Sareini enlisted in the United States Navy in 1994 as an Operations Specialist. He earned his commission through the Enlisted Commissioning Program and graduated from Iowa State University with a BS and MS in Biochemistry.