KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron (UUVRON) 1, held a change of command at Naval Undersea Warfare Center, March 22.
Cmdr. Robert Patchin, from Priest River, Idaho, relived Cmdr. Scott Smith, from Hartford, South Dakota, as UUVRON-1’s commanding officer during the ceremony held at Barb Hall.
“UUVRON-1 has performed spectacularly in the 18 months since its establishment in September 2017,” said Rear Adm. Jeffrey Trussler, director of future plans at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. “They have operationalized many concepts that were performed and tinkered with by many organizations before that. They have now become the focal point for warfighting with unmanned undersea vehicles in our Navy.”
UUVRON-1 was formally established Sept. 26, 2017, with Smith being its first commanding officer. UUVRON-1 has been developing the tactics, techniques and procedures that will shape how the Navy will use the unmanned undersea vehicles. Under his leadership, he has been driving the advancements in homing and docking technology, submarine launch technical requirements, sensor employment, maintenance software efforts and hardware improvements, and energy source utilization. His efforts also led to the establishment of the UUV operations center and a UUV watch floor, which conducted new command and control operations, providing global oversight to UUVs supporting operations.
“There are many advantages to being first and standing up a command,” said Smith. “You leave an indelible fingerprint for years to come and are at the helm to chart the initial voyage. The first commanding officer has to develop the playbook, establish the rule set and prove military capability. The Sailors here today have accomplished every bit and more. I am proud and deeply humbled that I was selected to put my mark on UUVRON-1.”
His next assignment will at Submarine Development Squadron Five.
Patchin comes to UUVRON-1 from Submarine Development Squadron Five, where he served as the deputy commander for readiness and tactical development.
“I would like to begin by thanking Cmdr. Smith for a job well done,” said Patchin. “In the last two years he has done a remarkable job transitioning a small detachment into this independent command; ready to conduct far-forward operations around the globe in direct support of fleet and national security priorities. I would also like to thank the Sailors of Unmanned Undersea Squadron One for welcoming me to the team. Together we will have an outsized impact on the future of undersea warfare.”
The squadron's UUVs range from 10-inch torpedo-shaped tubes to large submersibles more than 80 inches in diameter. The squadron is housed in Keyport's Barb Hall, which is named after the legendary World War II-era Gato-class submarine USS Barb. UUVRON-1 is a part of Submarine Development Squadron 5, which is the operational command that oversees the Seawolf-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarines USS Seawolf (SSN 21), USS Connecticut (SSN 22) and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23).
For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg9/.