Group 2 Commander Presents Awards to Helena Sailors
GROTON, Conn.– Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin, Commander of Submarine Group Two (CSG2) presented the Navy Commendation Medal to a Sailor assigned to Los Angeles-class Submarine USS Helena (SSN 725) on Dec. 8.
Chief Electronics Technician Brian McGrady received the honor for his outstanding work in the Reactor Controls division aboard Helena and was also recognized for his superior performance over nine consecutive years of sea duty, which included stints onboard USS Tennessee (SSBN 734) and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) before coming to the Helena in 2008.
“Chief McGrady is a guy that never complains, never passes blame and never makes excuses. He always operates with a high-level of ownership,” commented Cmdr. Paul Dinius, Helena’s Commanding Officer. “He’s one of those guys who you really love to have working for you, and we’re certainly going to miss all that he brings to this boat.”
McGrady’s next assignment will be at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC) in Charleston, S.C. Before departing, McGrady left the crew with these words, “Work hard. It will pay off.”
While onboard, McLaughlin also presented submarine warfare pins to Helena junior officers, Lt. j.g. Christian Fowler and Lt. j.g. Chris Dolan. Also known as “Dolphins,” submarine warfare pins are worn by enlisted and officers signifying they are proficient in using all the systems aboard the submarine. Fowler and Dolan completed the majority of the qualification process, which takes about a year, onboard USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) during her Central Command (CENTCOM) deployment.
After presenting the awards, McLaughlin talked to the crew and answered some of their questions. He also emphasized shipboard integrity.
“Helena has a great reputation among the submarine force,” said McLaughlin, who closed by encouraging the crew to continue performing at such a high level.
Helena, commissioned in July 1987, is the fourth ship of the United States Fleet to bear the name of the capital city of Montana. The submarine arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in September 2009 for an Engineered Overhaul. She is on track to return to sea this spring.
Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin presents Lt. j.g. Chris Dolan his submarine warfare pin during a visit to USS Helena (SSN 725).
|Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin presents Lt. j.g. Christian Fowler his submarine warfare pin during a visit to USS Helena (SSN 725).|