SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) — The blue crew of the guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) recently held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Base Kitsap (NBK), Bangor, Wash.
During the ceremony, Capt. Brian Freck, from Vienna, Va., relieved Capt. Andy Kimsey, from Kalamazoo, Mich., to assume the duties and responsibilities as Ohio’s commanding officer.
“It takes a full crew to safely maintain and operate a submarine and this crew has performed spectacularly,” said Kimsey. “Ohio, I am amazed by and proud of each and every one of you. Your hard-work, dedication and responsiveness to my leadership has been mind-blowing and humbling to observe. Thank you for all you do, each and every day.”
Kimsey assumed command of Ohio March 7, 2018. He was directly responsible for the boat’s execution of an arduous Chief of Naval Operations major maintenance availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, full armament onload and the boat and crew’s safe return to a forward deployed status.
Rear Adm. Doug Perry, Commander, Submarine Group 9, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker.
“Because of you, Ohio is in a better place and I know they’re going to enjoy getting back to sea under Brian Freck’s leadership,” said Perry. “Andy, the legacy that you leave behind is truly a capable and ready crew.”
Freck comes to Ohio from Commander, Submarine Squadron 19, where he served as deputy commodore.
“There is one adage that has been true since the first ship went to sea — a ship is nothing without a skilled, trained and motivated crew to man her,” said Freck. “So, as important as the ship is to our nation, she is nothing without the crew to bring her to life and take her to sea. You — the talented men and women of the crew of the Ohio — are the real national treasure, and I am thankful, humbled and blessed to be a part of the Ohio team.”
Ohio is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, and is the first in her class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided-missile submarines (SSGNs).
She was commissioned Nov. 11, 1981, and became the first of four Trident SSBNs to convert to SSGNs, completing its conversion Feb. 7, 2006.
Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, Ohio has the ability to conduct large-volume, short-notice strike missions and covertly deploy special operations forces.
Ohio and her sister ship, USS Michigan (SSGN 727), are both homeported at NBK Bangor.