PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet held a traditional change of command ceremony Dec. 10 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell Jr. relieved Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny as commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
As Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, McAneny lead a force that includes attack, ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines, submarine tenders, a floating submarine dock, a submarine rescue unit and undersea surveillance.
Adm. Patrick Walsh, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, presided over the ceremony. He offered remarks on the Pacific Submarine Force and McAneny's leadership.
"Over the past 2 years, Doug [McAneny] has had the enormous task of overseeing submarine operations and being our point man for submarine manning, training and maintenance in the Pacific," said Walsh. "Our submarines bring capabilities that are just vital to our national security as well as alliances in the Asia-Pacific region. Under Doug's guidance, the Pacific Submarine Force has dramatically improved its combat readiness, meeting increased national tasking while maintaining the highest standards of operational excellence."
In his remarks, McAneny reflected on the history of the Submarine Force in the Pacific and wondered what the commanding officers of the past would think of the submarines of today.
"I think they would be struck by one important factor - they would immediately recognize our force still attracts America's finest," said McAneny, who assumed command in September 2008. "The ships of the Force are technological marvels, but it is the character of the people that man our submarines that makes us the envy of great navies around the world."
During McAneny's tenure, he oversaw the introduction of Virginia-class submarines to the Pacific, including USS Texas (SSN 775), USS Hawaii (SSN 776) and USS North Carolina (SSN 777). With the introduction of these vessels and shifts in homeports for others, the mandate from the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review to homeport 60 percent of the U.S. Navy's attack submarines in the Pacific was achieved.
"The dominance the force provides to the Navy and the nation today revolves around one key axis - credible deterrent power," said McAneny. "In fact today, nearly 50 percent of the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force is underway - with nearly half of them supporting combatant commander objectives."
Submarines under McAneny's command conducted 37 deployments to the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Southern Command Areas of Responsibility, as well as 44 strategic deterrent patrols.
McAneny recognized that being the world's best Submarine Force depends on people and recognized his "all pro" teammates - fellow submarine flag officers in the Pacific, the commodores who lead the squadrons, the shipyards and tenders that provide the maintenance for the submarines, the training commands that provide training to the submarine crews and enlisted leadership throughout the Submarine Force.
"My Sailors deserve the best support I can broker for them," said McAneny. "And I am blessed with the leadership I have available to me to support the mission - nothing but the best from nothing but the best."
Walsh presented McAneny with the Legion of Merit for his exceptionally meritorious service prior to the official reading of orders and transfer of command to Caldwell.
"I consider it an absolute privilege to lead the Pacific Submarine Force," said Caldwell, in his first remarks to his command. "We are entrusted with an incredible responsibility to the American people. That responsibility is unrelenting. It's a responsibility that demands our operational readiness."
Like McAneny before him, Caldwell emphasized the people that make up the Submarine Force.
"Our Submarine Force is the best in the world today because of the commitment of our people and the organizations that support the force," said Caldwell. "Our team is equipped with advanced platforms, sensors and weapons systems, yet we are ultimately dependent on our people to accomplish the mission."
Caldwell, a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was previously assigned as commander, Submarine Group 9 in Bangor, Wash.
McAneny will report in January as commandant, National War College, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/subpac/.