Navy's Only Combined Submarine Squadron Splits to Enhance Warfighting Readiness

Story Number: NNS090330-05Release Date: 3/30/2009 1:45:00 PM
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From Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Submarine Squadron 16/20 held a ceremony to split the two commands at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., March 27.

Squadron 16 and 20 combined in October 2005 after four ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) shifted to the West Coast and prior to the arrival of the two guided-missile submarines (SSGN) in Kings Bay. Until the command split, Squadron 16/20 was responsible for six SSBNs and two SSGNs.

Capt. Kevin Brenton relieved Capt. Dan Mack as commodore of Submarine Squadron 20. Mack remains commodore of Submarine Squadron 16.

"As commodore of both squadrons for twenty-one months, I am proud to have had the privilege of serving with the outstanding combined staff and the dedicated submarine crews who have completed thirty-two deployments in support of these varied missions since June 2007," Mack said.

Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina, commander of Group Trident, served as the principal speaker. Giardina recognized the need to split the commands as the first step in formally restoring the East Coast Trident community to full strength.

"The fact that we're splitting out the responsibilities of the two Kings Bay submarine squadrons not only reflects on the importance of the Trident mission but also the recognition by our Navy and the submarine force that the combined staff of Squadron 16 and 20 staff has been going double duty for about 18 months," said Giardina.

"Separating the two squadrons recognizes the unique and important differences between the SSGN and SSBN missions and will provide the necessary oversight and training specific to the each mission area," Brenton said. "Splitting Squadrons 16 and 20 and fully re-constituting two independent submarine squadrons is the next step in the progression of adding the SSGN mission to Kings Bay, Georgia."

Each squadron will have clear focal points while also supporting the other.

"Squadron 20 will focus on maintaining excellence in execution of the strategic deterrent mission, the jewel of our national security," said Mack.

"Squadron 16 will focus on the emerging operational SSGN multi-mission capability and build on the excellence already established in strike warfare and special operations forces delivery and support, among many other missions while supporting SSBNs during and after overhaul periods."

Giardina praised the combined Squadron 16/20 staff for their accomplishments and performance.

"I am honored to maintain command of Submarine Squadron 16, and to lead and mentor the great warriors who serve as submariners on the SSGNs and SSBNs," said Mack.

Brenton remarked about commanding Submarine Squadron 20 and the opportunity to "lead some of our Navy's best and brightest Sailors in support of our strategic deterrence mission. The oversight and training of our Trident SSBN crews is vital to the security of our nation. It requires attention to detail and the establishment and adherence to high standards."

"I look forward to working with Team Trident here in Kings Bay to ensure our continued excellence and performance," Brenton said.

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