GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The nuclear-powered, Virginia class, fast-attack submarine USS San Juan (SSN 751) held a change of command ceremony in the Dealey Theater at Naval Submarine Base New London April 21.
Cmdr. John Craddock transferred command of San Juan to Cmdr. Ravi Desai.
Former Submarine Development Squadron Twelve Commodore and the ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Butch Dollaga praised Craddock, by saying, "...when I took command of Submarine Development Squadron 12, my first order of business was to find the right commanding officer for San Juan. At the time San Juan was going through a rough time and the submarine force, the Navy and the nation needed a strong presence to lead this talented crew. I was given three names - I knew all of them, but it was John Craddock that I wanted. He was hands down the best of the best and the right leader that San Juan deserved."
Craddock reminisced about when he first took command of San Juan. "At the start, there were definitely some things that needed to be fixed, but the one thing that I knew that didn't need improving was this fantastic crew. From my initial interviews with the Sailors, chiefs and officers I knew the real magic and the real energy that was going to turn this ship around was going to come from the men gathered here."
Craddock and the crew of San Juan would go on to earn the Commander, Submarine Squadron Twelve's Battle "E" for 2016, which recognized the ship and the crew as the best in the squadron as well as completing a highly successful deployment to the European area of operations.
San Juan's new commander praised Craddock by saying, "Over the past couple of years, his crew's performance has been marked by success after success, which I know is due in no small part to his inspirational leadership, dedication and commitment to excellence."
Desai closed his speech by addressing his crew. "To the crew of the mighty San Juan, I am truly honored to be able to join a team with such enthusiasm, dedication and fighting spirit. It is a privilege to get the opportunity to serve with you and become a member of the Panther Family. Hooyah San Juan!"
His crew answered with a loud and enthusiastic "Hooyah, San Juan!"
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