USS Alexandria (SSN 757) Changes Commanders
GROTON, Conn. - Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) conducted a change of command ceremony at Submarine Base New London's Shepherd of the Sea Chapel on Jan. 28.
During the ceremony, Cmdr. Todd Weeks relieved Cmdr. Gene Doyle, who commanded Alexandria during two successful deployments to the Central Command area of responsibility (AOR). Additionally during his tour, Alexandria won the 2008 and 2010 Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") award and the 2009 Golden Anchor Award for retention.
"His contributions to our ongoing efforts overseas were groundbreaking and heroic," said Capt. William Merz, commodore of Submarine Development Squadron (DEVRON) 12. "Gene epitomizes the great men we entrust with these amazing boats and who operate independently around the globe - in every hotspot in every ocean - challenging not only in mission, but equally so in harnessing the environment in which they operate."
In December, Doyle and the crew of Alexandria returned from a deployment where the boat steamed about 30,000 miles and spent four and a half months in the Persian Gulf in a challenging environment.
"They completed that mission with distinction, and it was so fruitful they were extended on station, coming home a month later than planned," said the ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Robert Burke, Director of Submarine/Nuclear Power Distribution Control Division and Nuclear Personnel Program Manager for Navy Personnel Command (NPC). "Typical Gene Doyle and 'Alex." We asked the impossible of them, and they said 'no problem,' then delivered that, and more, in style."
Burke was commodore of DEVRON 12 during both of Alexandria's deployments.
Doyle, a native of Kalispell, Mont., was commissioned through Officer Candidate School after graduating from Montana State University in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. He earned a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America and a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies from the Naval War College. His operational assignments include service as Executive Officer in USS Springfield (SSN 761).
"Despite all that has been said of me here," said Doyle during the ceremony, "the truth is that I have had such a wonderful supporting cast - both personally and professionally - that I'm convinced it would have been a challenge for me to fail at this job."
Doyle continued, "To the crew of Alexandria, I wish to thank you for your service. It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve alongside you for the last three years."
Doyle will next serve as deputy commander of Submarine Squadron Four.
Upon taking command of Alexandria, Weeks told the crew, "I have been nothing but impressed with your dedication, professionalism and performance. You have excelled at the most demanding missions and operated successfully in the most challenging environments. The 'Battle E' is a testament to that success. The principles that led to your success - high-standards, rigorous training and a commitment to excellence - will be just as important as we meet the new challenges ahead of us."
Weeks graduated with Merit from the United States Naval Academy in May 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture. In June 2006, he graduated Cum Laude from Norwich University with a Master of Arts in Diplomacy. He previously served on the staff of the Chief on Naval Operations. He also served as Executive Officer aboard USS Helena (SSN 725) and Engineer Officer aboard USS Los Angeles (SSN 688).
- USN -
GROTON, Conn. (January 28, 2011) Capt. William R. Merz, Commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12, presents the 2010 Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") to Cmdr. Eugene J. Doyle, Commanding Officer of USS Alexandria (SSN 757). Doyle was relieved by Cmdr. Todd S. Weeks during a change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea Chapel. (U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Virginia K. Schaefer/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (January 28, 2011) Cmdr. Eugene J. Doyle departs through side boys after being relieved as commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757). Doyle was relieved by Cmdr. Todd Weeks during a change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea Chapel. (U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Virginia K. Schaefer.)
GROTON, Conn. (January 28, 2011) Cmdr. Todd S. Weeks departs through side boys as the new commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757). Weeks relieved Cmdr. Eugene Doyle during a change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea Chapel. (U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Virginia K. Schaefer.)