GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Pre-Commissioning Unit Missouri (SSN 780) held a change of command ceremony aboard the historic ship Nautilus July 10.
Cmdr. Dale F. Green was relieved by Cmdr. Timothy A. Rexrode.
Capt. Earl Carter, executive assistant to the chief of naval personnel, served as guest speaker. He said Green was charged with the "formidable task of forging a crew" for Missouri, which is currently under construction at General-Dynamics, Electric Boat Shipyard.
"This was a critical task, and Dale Green was the ideal leader to establish the solid foundation from which decades of operational success will derive," said Carter.
During Green's tour as commanding officer, Missouri, the Navy's seventh Virginia-class submarine, started construction and initial manning and trimmed four months and $160 million from the original construction budget.
"From day one, Dale Green has patiently and methodically shaped this crew into a proud team, a team in the not-too-distant future that will take this state-of-the-art submarine to sea in harm's way and operate it safely and stealthily and ultimately deliver it to the tip-of-the-spear fully ready for the fight," said Carter.
Green, who will next serve as commanding officer of Naval Submarine Support Facility New London, said the crew of Missouri has inspired him every day.
"I'm proud of what the team as a whole has accomplished over the past year," said Green. "I'm particularly proud of the challenges we overcame and in cutting new ground and providing enduring lessons that we can pass forward to other ships."
Prior to relieving Green, Rexrode, a native of Spencer, West Virginia, previously held positions within the U.S. Strategic Command. In addition, he has served as the executive officer aboard USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) and engineer aboard USS Olympia (SSN 717).
Rexrode said that the ship's reputation and success exist because of the family and friends of Missouri.
"I'm proud to call you shipmates, and I'm proud to call you plank owners. I look forward to serving with all of you in the days and the months ahead," said Rexrode.
Missouri is the latest in a long line of warships to carry the name of this state. The first Missouri was a steam/sail warship commissioned in 1842, only 21 years after Missouri was admitted into the union. Construction began on Missouri in December 2004.
For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.