BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- The Blue crew of the guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) conducted a change of ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, July 7.
Capt. Bradley Terry, from Calvert City, Kentucky, relieved Capt. Joseph Turk, from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Michigan Blue crew commanding officer during the ceremony at Deterrent Park.
Turk assumed command of Michigan Blue July 7, 2015, during a change of command ceremony in Yokosuka, Japan. This was the first time the boat performed a change of command ceremony in Japan.
"Being in command of Michigan was an honor," said Turk. "The ship is a technical marvel; able to operate independently, unsupported, undetected, for months if necessary, carrying with it a lethal combination of torpedoes, cruise missiles, and naval special warfare equipment, unmatched by any other platform. As awesome as it is, Michigan is a 35-year-old ship. And a 35-year-old ship doesn't run itself. It is the people that make Michigan and her sister submarines the best submarine force on the planet."
Under Turk's leadership, the boat conducted the first guided-missile submarine maintenance and modernization period with two crews working together. During this time, he oversaw necessary modifications to support the integration of the first enlisted women on submarines ever in U.S. history. The Michigan Blue crew also completed the first Western Pacific deployment with a fully integrated crew onboard a submarine.
The crew completed multiple certifications to get the boat ready for deployment and during their most recent deployment, the boat made national headlines when they pulled into Busan, Republic of Korea, for a port call. His efforts resulted in the boat receiving the Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2016 Retention Excellence Award.
"To the crew of Michigan Blue, you are the fabric of America," said Turk. "You are what make Michigan great. You did what I think is the hardest job in the submarine force. I pushed hard and demanded excellence from each of you, and despite a few stumbles here and there, we achieved success."
Turk's next assignment will be at Commander, Submarine Squadron 19, in Bangor, Washington, where he will serve as deputy commodore.
Terry comes to Michigan Blue from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, where he served as the senior member of the Tactical Readiness Evaluation team located in Hawaii.
"The SSGN cycle is the most demanding in the submarine force, but there is no other spot I would rather be standing today then right here, taking command of a seagoing crew of SSGN submarine Sailors," said Terry. "I am humbled and honored to be given the second opportunity by the submarine force leadership to have the most coveted and rewarding job in the United States Navy - command at sea."
Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, Michigan has the ability to conduct large-volume short-notice strike missions and covertly deploy Special Operations Forces.
Michigan and its sister ship, USS Ohio (SSGN 726), are both homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
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