Submarine New Mexico Honors Sailors, Prepares to Join Fleet

Story Number: NNS100324-13Release Date: 3/24/2010 3:38:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Lt. Patrick Evans, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs Officer

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Five Sailors assigned to Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New Mexico (SSN 779) were honored Mar. 23 during an awards ceremony on the pier at Naval Station Norfolk.

Cmdr. Mark Prokopius, prospective commanding officer, presented the awards to the Sailors who are preparing the submarine to be commissioned Mar. 27 at 11 a.m. EDT at Naval Station Norfolk.

The Sailors honored were Chief Electronics Technician Rahzine Brown of Brooklyn, N.Y., who received his eighth Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Machinist's Mate 1st Class Joseph Winn of Belton, Ky., who was named Sailor of the Quarter; Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Gordon Reichert of Belleville, Ill., who was named Sailor of the Year; and Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Geoffrey Obermaier of Columbia, Md., who was named both Blue Jacket of the Quarter and of the Year.

In addition, the crew said farewell to Electronics Technician 1st Class Sadeq Valad of New York City.

For the commissioning, Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. The ship's sponsor is Cindy Giambastiani. Giambastiani's husband is retired Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani, who served as the seventh vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between 2005 and 2007. The commissioning ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Cindy Giambastiani gives the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

When commissioned, New Mexico will join five other Virginia-class submarines as flexible, multimission platforms designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force, which are anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, special operations forces, strike, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit

Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click here.