PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Mississippi (SSN 782) held a change of command ceremony at the historic submarine piers of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, May 8.
Cmdr. Heath Johnmeyer relieved Cmdr. Eric Rozek, as commanding officer of Mississippi.
The ceremony's guest speaker, Rear Adm. (Ret.) Barry Bruner praised Rozek for his successful performance while in command of Mississippi.
"Within a year of Eric taking command, Mississippi became one of the top boats on the waterfront," said Bruner. "That was a direct reflection of Eric's leadership."
Rozek said he is proud of having had the opportunity to be in command of Mississippi and her skilled crew.
"We have accomplished some great wonders," said Rozek. "Thank you for listening and executing my vision. I will never forget you and I am proud of our accomplishments."
During the ceremony, Capt. Richard Seif, commander of Submarine Squadron One, presented Cmdr. Rozek with a Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer from June 5, 2015 until May 8, 2018.
Following his tour aboard Mississippi, Rozek will report to Commander Submarine Group Seven in Yokosuka, Japan.
As Johnmeyer assumed command of Mississippi, he expressed his pride in becoming Mississippi's new commanding officer and commended Rozek for his successful tour.
"It is going to be a challenge to improve upon what you have built here on Mississippi," said Johnmeyer. "To the crew, I am extremely privileged to be given the opportunity to serve with such a great group of people, and I am very excited to serve in this great submarine force with you."
USS Mississippi is the fourth Virginia-class fast attack submarine to be homeported in Pearl Harbor. The submarine is 377-feet long, displaces 7,800 tons, and is equipped to carry torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles, and possesses the capacity to insert special operations forces into a multitude of environments and battlefield scenarios.
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