KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Submarine Squadron 16 held a change of command ceremony at the chapel on board Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Jan. 5.
Capt. Chris Nash relieved Capt. Adam Palmer as the Submarine Squadron 16 commodore.
Rear Adm. Mike Holland, commander of Submarine Group 10, was the guest speaker for the ceremony.
"Keeping a submarine forward deployed for up to two years is an almost insurmountable task, especially so for a ship that is over 30 years old," Holland said. "The Georgia and Florida crews and Squadron 16 staff make this happen continuously. Our forward-deployed SSGNs (guided-missile submarines) bring firepower and stealth - a lethal combination - to the fight. They have proven themselves invaluable to our commanders around the world. Squadron 16 has excelled in preparing our ships to deploy ready. Success like that is no accident; it starts at the top with the commander."
During his remarks, Palmer highlighted the high standards set for Sailors serving as squadron staff and aboard the boats of Squadron 16.
"To make it to the leadership ranks of any of the submarines in Squadron 16 - USS Florida, Georgia, Rhode Island and now Wyoming - you must not only have the academic ability and aptitude, but have the perseverance, stamina, leadership ability, personal skills, and gumption to excel across multiple sea tours," Palmer explained.
"When we run into problems, I must rely on my staff, which is yet another quality cut. To make it to squadron staff, we are generally only taking those that were number one or number two in their squadron at their position. It is a special bunch that has made it a real privilege to lead this team."
During the ceremony, Holland awarded Palmer with the Legion of Merit for his service as commodore.
"Although you must relinquish command today, the good news for the submarine force is that you will continue to do great things as a member of SUBLANT's (Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic) staff in Norfolk as head of operations," said Holland.
Nash, a native of Evadale, Texas, took command of Submarine Squadron 16, which is responsible for the maintenance and operations of Ohio-class submarines USS Florida (SSGN 728), USS Georgia (SSGN 729), USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) and USS Wyoming (SSBN 742).
"To the men and women of Team Kings Bay, the families who support you, and Captain Lepine who supports us all, thank you for your partnership and for the outstanding leadership and work your people do to make our SSGNs and BNs (ballistic-missile submarines) the most capable, lethal and sustainable warships in the world," said Nash.
Palmer will report to SUBLANT in Norfolk for his new assignment.
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