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Commander, Submarine Group Two


 
 
110302-N-AW342-019 GROTON, Conn. (Mar. 2, 2011) USS Memphis
(SSN 691) prepares for mooring at Naval Submarine Base New London
after returning from its final deployment. A decommissioning ceremony
will be held for the Los Angeles-class submarine April 1. (U.S. Navy
photograph by Mass Communication Specialist Virginia K. Schaefer/Released)

USS Memphis Returns from Final Overseas Mission

 
GROTON, Conn. - Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Memphis (SSN 691) returned to Naval Submarine Base New London March 2, marking the end of her final overseas mission.
 
Next month, the Navy will hold a decommissioning ceremony for Memphis, which has been in service for more than 30 years, spanning six presidents.  The ceremony is scheduled for April 1 at 1:00 p.m. at the submarine base.
 
When Memphis arrived, most crewmembers were wearing their black service dress uniforms, but Chief Fire Control Technician Brian Paugh was dressed in a white jumpsuit with rhinestones, depicting music icon Elvis Presley. 
 
"Since I love Elvis, and I love Johnny cash - both are from Memphis, Tenn. - I said, 'Sure. Why not?  I'll do it,'" said Paugh.
 
Many crewmembers are remembering this final deployment with reverence.
 
"There've been lots of great chiefs who have come before me, who have served on Memphis," said Paugh.  "I've met a lot of them over this past year with the boat decommissioning and everything.  To be able to say I was one of the last chiefs in the chief's quarters is a great honor and a privilege."
 
Memphis, which departed Jan. 10, supported missions in the European Command area of responsibility.
 
"The deployment went excellent," said Capt. Carl Lahti, Memphis commanding officer.  "The crew performed extremely well.  We fulfilled all of our missions exactly as we were tasked overseas.  I'm particularly proud of the crew and the effort they put in to get the 33-year old ship prepared.  We are in excellent condition."
 
"Not sure if you guys realize it, but what you just pulled off here with this fairly short deployment overseas has accredited you rock star status in the submarine force," Capt. William Merz, commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12 told the crew of Memphis.  "While you were brilliantly completing your missions, you enabled a dozen other ships to better complete theirs."
 
Shortly after the homecoming, Capt. Carl Lahti turned over command of Memphis to Cmdr. Jeffery Joseph, who will lead the submarine through the decommissioning and inactivation process. 
 
"It's a distinct honor to be the last commanding officer," said Joseph.  "It is a unique responsibility because we are responsible for the legacy of the ship."
 
Previously, Joseph previously served as deputy commander of readiness for Submarine Squadron 3 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  He was also executive officer of USS Louisville (SSN 724).
 
Lahti returns to Submarine Development Squadron 12 as Deputy Commander
 
Commissioned Dec. 17, 1977, Memphis became an Atlantic Fleet operational asset as part of Submarine Squadron 8 in Norfolk, Va. in 1978.  All current and former crew members, their families, and friends are cordially invited to attend activities connected to the historic decommissioning ceremony.  More information about the event can be found online at www.Memphisdecom.wordpress.com.
 
Click below to view and download high-resolution photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/comsubgru2/sets/72157626057917363/
 

 

110302-N-AW342-044 GROTON, Conn. (Mar. 2, 2011) Dressed as Elvis, Chief Fire Control Technician Brian Paugh poses on top of USS Memphis (SSN 691) as the submarine returned to Naval Submarine Base New London following her final deployment. A decommissioning ceremony will be held for the Los Angeles-class submarine April 1. (U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist Virginia K. Schaefer/Released)

 

110302-N-AW342-087 GROTON, Conn. (Mar. 2, 2011) A Sailor is welcomed home by his daughter during the homecoming of USS Memphis (SSN 691). The submarine returned to Naval Submarine Base New London following their final deployment before decommissioning. (U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist Virginia K. Schaefer/Released)

 

110302-N-AW342-159 GROTON, Conn. (Mar. 2, 2011) Capt. Carl Lahti, commanding officer of USS Memphis (SSN 691), makes his final remarks during a change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London. Lahti was relieved by Cmdr. Jeffrey Joseph after Memphis returned from her final deployment. (U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist Virginia K. Schaefer/Released)

 

 

110302-N-AW342-176 GROTON, Conn. (Mar. 2, 2011) Cmdr. Jeffery Joseph reports to Capt. William Merz, commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12, that he assumed command of USS Memphis (SSN 691) during a change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London. Joseph relieved Capt. Carl Lahti following Memphis' final return from deployment. (U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist Virginia K. Schaefer/Released)
 

110302-N-AW342-179 GROTON, Conn. (Mar. 2, 2011) Capt. Carl Lahti shakes hands with Capt. William Merz, commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12, after being relieved by Cmdr. Jeffrey Joseph during a change of command ceremony. The ceremony was held at Naval Submarine Base New London after Memphis returned from her final deployment. (U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist Virginia K. Schaefer/Released)