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Submarine Group 9 Holds Change of Command Ceremony

28 June 2022

From Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian G. Reynolds, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs

NAVAL BASE KITSAP-BANGOR, Wash. – Commander, Submarine Group 9 (CSG-9) held a change of command ceremony at Deterrent Park onboard Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor June 28, 2022. Rear Adm. Robert M. Gaucher, from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was relieved by Rear Adm. Mark Behning, from Phoenix, during the ceremony.

Rear Adm. Jeffrey T. Jablon, commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), provided remarks as the guest speaker for the ceremony.

“In time of war, the Submarine Force will be called upon to lead the way, to set the conditions and provide all domain access for the joint force,” Rear Adm. Jablon said. “Submarine Group 9 is unquestionably part of that solution, and I rely daily on you as an indispensable part of our strategy.”

Gaucher’s next assignment will be as director, Strategic Integration, N2/N6T, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. He was awarded the Legion of Merit medal for a successful tour as CSG-9. 

During Gaucher’s speech, he highlighted the accomplishments of his team of undersea warfighters and displayed confidence that Behning is left with a well-trained team to meet the challenges of the future.

“The readiness and mission assurance the team here generated over the past year is exactly what our nation expects and our leadership demands,” Gaucher said. “At a time of crisis, the team here delivered when it counted most in order to send a message to any would be adversary that the United States and its Submarine Force are ready. I could not be prouder of the group of Commanders and Sailors here on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor and Bremerton.”

Behning, previously assigned as director, Strategic Targeting and Nuclear Mission Planning, J5N, U.S. Strategic Command, relieved Gaucher and delivered his remarks.

“It is the Team Bangor approach that weaves together and synergizes multiple supporting commands and missions to ensure the submarine crews are confident that their families are being properly taken care of, and are able to focus on warfighting and successfully executing their mission,” Behning said. “Our nation requires us to maintain a credible and effective deterrent and to maintain our unquestioned undersea dominance. This is not easy work, but it is vital work that must be done, and work must be done with highest of standards.”

CSG-9 is dual-hatted as Task Group (CTG) 114.3 and serves as the COMSUBPAC representative n the Pacific Northwest. It also serves as the Department of Defense representative for the safety of all nuclear weapons onboard Pacific ballistic missile submarines and reports to COMSUBPAC. CSG-9/CTG 114.3 is responsible for the strategic nuclear deterrence of the nation’s adversaries in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. 


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