KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Cmdr. Matthew Colburn relieved Cmdr. John Carter as commanding officer of USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) (Blue) in a change of command ceremony held at the Keyport Undersea Museum on Feb. 16.
Allen Beermann, Nebraska Press Association president, attended the ceremony as the guest speaker. He said he was honored he and his wife were asked to attend the ceremony and invited Colburn to his submarine's name sake.
"On a day like this, when we recognize leadership, we are reminded that no one can do anything alone," said Beermann. "We remember those who might be in this audience who made it possible for us to achieve, to get promoted, to receive honors, to grow, or even excel. These folks might be teachers, mentors, coaches, leaders, parents, groups, heroes and even critics."
Carter was also grateful for the support he received from Nebraska's Blue crew. For his end of tour award, he received a Meritorious Service Medal.
"Well, it would seem that my time in Command of Nebraska Blue is coming to a close," said Carter. "If given the choice, I would prefer nothing more than to continue leading you fine men, but like many things in our business, once you [get] it figured out, it's time to move on to a new challenge. Unfortunately, that time for me has arrived."
Before receiving his orders and going to Nuclear Propulsion Board, commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Carter recognized a few of the enlisted leaders from his crew.
"Over the previous 29 months, I can honestly say that I have had the pleasure [of] leading the most dedicated and professional group of Sailors with whom I have ever served in my 21-year career," said Carter.
Colburn said he looks forward to the challenges ahead with his new crew and was happy for the chance to lead Nebraska's crew.
"With our country at war and a rapidly changing global security environment, the SSBN strategic deterrent mission is more important today than at any time in the past," said Colburn. "It is an honor to have the opportunity to command USS Nebraska Blue during these critical times for our country."
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