Groton-based Commander Visits Gulf Coast to Promote PCU Mississippi Commissioning
GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- A Groton-based Navy commander visited several Mississippi Gulf Coast cities, April 23-25, to promote the upcoming commissioning of the ninth Virginia-class submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Mississippi (SSN 782).
The future USS Mississippi will be commissioned in Pascagoula, Miss. June 2, and will be the fifth ship to bear the name of Mississippi. Cmdr. Dale Green, the Submarine Group 2 shipyard representative at General Dynamics Electric Boat, participated in the three-day visit.
"I'm excited to be here, working with the community leaders, commissioning committee, and meeting the great people of the Magnolia state as the boat and her crew also look forward to an exceptional event for our Navy, the region, and the state of Mississippi," said Green.
Green visited the state on behalf of both Commander, Submarine Group 2 and PCU Mississippi, discussing the unique bond the crew has with its namesake state.
"Although the crew of PCU Mississippi is homeported in Connecticut they claim Mississippi as their home," said Green. "I'm here to brag about the incredible men that make up the heart and soul of your namesake submarine PCU Mississippi."
The guiding force behind the success of PCU Mississippi, said Green, is credited to Capt. John McGrath's leadership and his core philosophy.
"The heartbeat of the future USS Mississippi is centered on the commanding officer's core philosophy for the ship. They train and work to a philosophy that focuses on making every crewmember a critical part of the team," said Green.
Green added that this philosophy includes three basic points which include integrity, readiness, and teamwork, which he personally saw the commanding officer's leadership philosophy in action when he embarked aboard the submarine during its Alpha sea trials.
"Two weeks ago I was at sea with the Mississippi crew as they completed Alpha trials, the first time the ship was at sea and the crew was amazing," said Green. "The command team has built a team with a strong family bond."
While visiting Mississippi, Green spoke at the Gulf Council Business Council, Biloxi and Pascagoula Rotaries, and met with submariners residing at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, located in Gulfport.
"I had the opportunity to visit with some retired shipmates who told heartrending sea stories from World War II and expressed their personal excitement of seeing the commissioning of the Mississippi in June," said Green.
One of the submariners Green met with was a retiree who entered the U.S. Navy in January 1939. Retired Lt. Cmdr. Richard Halloran, 91, served 29 years in the Navy and volunteered for submarine service ultimately serving aboard six submarines while on active duty.
Halloran discussed his time aboard USS S-37 (SS 142) and the pivotal role his submarine played in World War II. While USS S-37 was on its third war patrol in February 1942, the submarine attacked a Japanese convoy and sunk the destroyer Natsushiro.
"Sinking Natsushiro marked the first Japanese destroyer sunk in the war by a U.S. submarine," said Halloran.
Halloran served on the following submarines: USS S-37, USS Scamp (SS 247), USS S-20 (SS 125), USS Sea Owl (SS 405), USS Bergall (SS 320), and USS Flying Fish (SS 229).