December 17, 2017
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Hampden man named new commander of USS Constitution in Boston

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CHARLESTOWN, Mass. – Cmdr. Sean Kearns, a native of Hampden, was given command of the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, during a change of command ceremony aboard the ship in Charlestown Navy Yard on July 26.

 Kearns will become Constitution’s 73rd commanding officer after relieving the ship’s 72nd commanding officer, Cmdr. Matt Bonner.

Director, Navy Staff, Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, Constitution’s parent commander, was scheduled to serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

 Kearns, raised in Hampden, Maine, recently completed a tour at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, R.I. as the director of Fleet Enlisted Engineering Training for the Navy. He is an alumnus of Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was commissioned as a U.S. Navy ensign aboard USS Constitution in 1994.

 Bonner, a Meredith, N.H., native and graduate of the Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, will go on to his next assignment on the Joint Staff located at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

 USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. Now a featured attraction on Boston’s Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship’s history to more than 500,000 visitors each year.

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