Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hero On the High Seas

When duty called and the world was watching the pirate hostage situation unfold, Cmdr. Francis X. Castellano performed his job with honor and distinction.
As the commander of the destroyer USS Bainbridge, Castellano was on the front line of the rescue operation that freed Capt. Richard Phillips from the grips of the Somali pirates, who had boarded his merchant ship Maersk-Alabama, and taken him hostage four days earlier.

Cmdr. Frank Castellano
The rescue on Easter Sunday, April 12, involved Navy snipers who killed three of the pirates holding Capt. Phillips on a covered lifeboat after they left the recovered Maersk-Alabama.
“We all worked seamlessly together, ensuring that the mission was accomplished,” Castellano told MSNBC in an exclusive televised interview.
Calling the situation tense, the commander said, “In the forefront of my mind was ensuring that Capt. Richard Phillips was returned to his family safely and to the United States.”
Cmdr. Castellano, age 41, is a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He joined Patchogue Council (N.Y.) # 725 in 1986, before his 20th birthday, and became a member of Holy Cross Assembly 3048 in Tennessee in 2006.
His father, also Francis X. Castellano, is a retired general agent for the Knights of Columbus insurance program.
Cmdr. Castellano is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Navy War College. He had formerly been assigned as an operations chief on the USS Cole, which was bombed by terrorists in October 2000.
Capt. Phillips also is Catholic, and Catholic News Service published a story about his Vermont parish and pastor praying for his safe return.

No comments:

Post a Comment