2011-03-25 / Milestones

Local Takes Navy Command

A Rockaway resident who is now a U.S. Navy Commander has taken command of one of the nation’s most powerful fighting ships.

Commander Dan Gillen, a former Rockaway Park resident who grew up on Beach 123 Street and son of Michael and Judy Gillen, who still live in Rockaway, recently took command of the USS McFaul (DDG 74) in Norfolk, Virginia.

Gillen attended PS 114, JHS 180 and Archbishop Molloy High School before moving on to college and then to Officer Candidate School.

The USS McFaul is a guided missile destroyer (DDG), designed to safeguard aircraft carriers and amphibious strike groups.

Guided missile destroyers are multimission ships, capable of hunting submarines, defending against aircraft and surface ship threats, and launching Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The ship is named after a Naval hero.

The USS McFaul was commissioned in 1998 and named after Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Donald L. McFaul, who was killed in action during Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989.

He was the first American serviceman killed in freeing Panama from the Cuban forces that had invaded the area, and awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart posthumously due to his heroics.

The USS McFaul is 505 feet long, propelled by four gas turbine main engines up to 30+ knots, and manned by a crew of nearly 300 sailors.

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THE GILLEN FAMILY ARE

THE GILLEN FAMILY ARE CURRENTLY LIVING IN GRAND RAPIDS MI.!!!!!!!


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