KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN 734) (Gold) held a change of command at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Chapel, March 24.
Cmdr. Christopher Bohner was relieved by Cmdr. Jon Schaffner as commanding officer of Tennessee (Gold). Bohner, a native of Trevorton, Pennsylvania said, "I am convinced there is not a finer crew who executes our nation's most important military mission of strategic deterrence," said Bohner of the Tennessee's Gold Crew. "It was my distinct honor and privilege to call myself your commanding officer. Sailors like you give me unwavering faith and confidence for the future security of our great nation."
Bohner spoke of his crew's diverse backgrounds and impressive ability to come together as a team. "The strength in their diversity is the metal that forged the strongest of blades, capable of piercing through any barrier, slashing through every challenge -- solid, balanced, reliable; our strongest weapon," Bohner said.
Capt. T.R. Buchanan, Commodore, Submarine Squadron 20, served as the guest speaker for the event. "I was underway on Tennessee Gold about one year ago to observe my first tactical readiness exam as commodore. Chris [Bohner] and his team demonstrated exactly how it should be done," said Buchanan. "The tactical prowess of the crew was something to behold. It is obvious that Chris knows exactly how to employ his submarine as to maximize its capability and he knows how to keep the priorities in the right perspective."
Schaffner, a Casper, Wyoming native, was last stationed at Undersea Warfighting Development Center where he was the executive officer. His most recent operational assignment was as executive officer aboard USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) where he completed a Western Pacific deployment, earning the boat a Navy Unit Commendation.
During his remarks, Schaffner expressed his enthusiasm to work with his Sailors. "To the crew of USS Tennessee (Gold), you are America at its best," said Schaffner. "Every day we will strive to be the best at protecting our allies and fellow Americans with the credible, reliable, and survivable nuclear deterrent capability of USS Tennessee. I look forward to serving as your captain and promise to give you my best as we accomplish our nation's highest priority mission of strategic deterrence together," said Schaffner.
For his next tour, Bohner will report to Commander, Submarine Group 10 as the operations officer.
Tennessee is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be named for the State of Tennessee and the ninth of 18 Ohio-class submarines. USS Tennessee was commissioned Dec. 18, 1988.
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