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Commander, Submarine Group Two


 
 
100930-N-3090M-255 GROTON, Conn. (September 30, 2010) – Submarine
Development Squadron 12 Command Master Chief Wesley Koshoffer
presents Capt. Robert Burke with his pennant during a change of
command ceremony. During the ceremony aboard Los Angeles-class
attack USS Annapolis (SSN 760), Burke was relieved as the squadron
commander by Capt. William Merz. U.S. Navy photo by Mass
Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Myers.

Buckle up! Merz Takes Helm of DEVRON 12

GROTON, Conn. – Submarine Development Squadron (DEVRON) 12 held a change of command ceremony Sep. 30 aboard Los Angeles-class submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) at Naval Submarine Base New London. 

During the ceremony, Capt. Robert Burke turned over command to Capt. William Merz.

Guest speaker Rear Adm. Michael Connor, Director Submarine Warfare Division, spoke about the importance of command and the impact that Burke had during his tenure.

“The change of command transfers authority and responsibility from the commanding officer to his relief,” said Connor. “It’s a little different at Squadron 12, in addition to passing the responsibility for training, and oversight of the submarines [assigned], we are transferring the responsibility for the gifted team that is responsible for the tactics for the entire submarine force.”

“Bob, we owe you a debt of gratitude, as you have shown us, to succeed, the greatest emphasis must be on our people and their training,” added Connor. “I know Bill Merz understands this fact. He, too, will excel as he and his family joins the Squadron 12 team.”

 Burke spoke about the impact of the submarine force and his time at Squadron 12.

“It has truly been a privilege to serve the Navy and the nation in this capacity,” said Burke. “But that pales in comparison to the privilege of having served with this distinguished group of young, energetic, and creative men of this team, and these ships—the DEVRON team.”

During Burke’s tour as commodore, submarines attached to DEVRON 12 completed six deployments to the U.S. Central Command, European Command, Africa Command, Southern Command, and Arctic Ocean theaters of operation. Burke’s leadership also provided direction to advances in tactical capabilities and doctrines in multiple submarine mission areas.

Burke, a native of Portage, Mich., next heads to Millington, Tenn. to serve as Director, Submarine/Nuclear Power Distribution Control Division and Nuclear Personnel Program Manager for Navy Personnel Command (NPC).

Merz said that while it was an honor to be the squadron commander, he wanted to emphasize that he and his team are “here to help”.

“The support we demand from our submarines is dangerous, and it’s uncomfortable. You define the concept of high demand, low density asset,” said Merz. “So understand my motivation when the squadron waterfront staff shows up and says 'we’re here to help'—help you to succeed. So, buckle up, and keep your boats ready and rigged!”

 

Merz, a native of San Diego, previously served as Engineer Officer aboard USS Boise (SSN 764); Officer-in-Charge of Submarine NR-1; and Commanding Officer of USS Memphis (SSN 691). He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and Master’s Degrees from the Catholic University of America and the Naval War College/Naval Command College.

 

100930-N-3090M-106 GROTON, Conn. (September 30, 2010) – Capt. Robert Burke, Commander Submarine Development Squadron 12, passes through the side boys board during the arrival of the official party for his change of command. During the ceremony aboard Los Angeles-class attack USS Annapolis (SSN 760), Burke was relieved by Capt. William Merz. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Myers.

 

 

100930-N-3090M-131 GROTON, Conn. (September 30, 2010) – Sailors from the Naval Submarine Support Facility shoot one of 13 shells to render honors during the arrival of the official party for the Submarine Development Squadron 12 change of command. The 13-gun salute was for guest speaker Rear Adm.  Michael Connor, Director Submarine Warfare Division. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Myers.

 

 

100930-N-3090M-211 GROTON, Conn. (September 30, 2010) – Sailors on the staff of Submarine Development Squadron 12 and from the crews of Los Angeles-class attack submarines USS Annapolis (SSN 760) and USS Memphis (SSN 691) stand at parade rest during a change of command ceremony aboard Annapolis. During the ceremony, Capt. William Merz assumed command of the squadron from Capt. Robert Burke.  U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Myers.

 

 

100930-N-3090M-229 GROTON, Conn. (September 30, 2010) – Capt. Robert Burke receives his end of tour award, a Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct as Commander Submarine Development Squadron 12, from Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin, Commander Submarine Group 2, as Rear Adm. Michael Connor , Director Submairne Warfare Division, observes. During the change of command ceremony aboard Los Angeles-class attack USS Annapolis (SSN 760), Burke was relieved by Capt. William Merz. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Myers.

 

 

100930-N-3090M-280 GROTON, Conn. (September 30, 2010) – Capt. William Merz, departs a change of command ceremony aboard USS Annapolis (SSN 760) as Commander of Submarine Development Squadron 12. During the ceremony, Merz relieved Capt. Robert Burke. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Myers.