Submarine Squadron 17 Welcomes New Commodore

Story Number: NNS190415-05Release Date: 4/15/2019 10:23:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray, Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Submarine Squadron 17 (CSS-17) held a change of command ceremony at the Keyport Undersea Museum, April 12.

Capt. Nicholas Tilbrook, from Chicago, Illinois, was relieved as commodore by Capt. Todd Figanbaum, from Davenport, Iowa during the ceremony held in the Jack Murdock Auditorium.

“As the commodore of Submarine Squadron 17, I have been so fortunate to have a terrific staff that goes the extra mile every day to support the submarines in the squadron," said Tilbrook. "As I am now at the end of my tour, I could not have imagined being the commodore of any other squadron. This mission is so important. The challenges are so unique. The camaraderie and the teamwork that it takes to execute the mission cannot be found at any other homeport.”

Tilbrook assumed command August 3, 2017. As the squadron's commander, Tilbrook oversaw 32 strategic deterrent patrols and 37 maintenance refit periods, including the first two extended refit maintenance periods conducted at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in decades. As the lead for the ballistic-missile (SSBN) Task Force, he developed new policy, personnel and material solutions to improve the warfighting effectiveness of the Ohio-class SSBN force for the remainder of its 42-year life cycle.

"Being the commodore is definitely challenging, but submariners never shrink from a challenge," said the event's guest speaker, Rear Adm. Douglas Perry, commander, Submarine Group 9. "We meet those adversities and we become richer and better leaders for having faced them. Capt Tilbrook certainly did that. He has been a leader in the truest sense of the word. His presence has provided guidance and a steady hand. I know I have appreciated all he has done. His counsel and expertise have been valued in the short time I’ve been lucky enough to have with him."

Tilbrook's next assignment will be at the Pentagon, where he will serve as the executive assistant for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources.

"I want to thank Commodore Tilbrook and the entire Submarine Squadron 17 staff for an outstanding and thorough turnover the last week," said Figanbaum. "I look forward to working with all of you and I am in awe of the talent that exists on the squadron staff.”

Figanbaum comes to CSS-17 from Washington D.C., where he served on the staff of the Secretary of Defense.

Submarine Squadron 17 is responsible for manning, training and equipping seven ballistic missile submarines and 14 crews homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.


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