Commander, Submarine Group Two

Cmdr. Richard B. Alsop, former Commander, Naval
Submarine Support Center (NSSC), departs the con-
solidation ceremony of Commander, Submarine
Squadron Six (COMSUBRON 6) and NSSC at Naval
Station Norfolk, Sept. 1. (U.S. Navy photograph by
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danna Morris.)

Naval Submarine Support Center Consolidates With Submarine Squadron Six

NORFOLK, Va. – Two waterfront Norfolk, Va.- based submarine commands consolidated today during a ceremony held at Naval Station Norfolk.  During the ceremony, Commander, Naval Submarine Support Center (NSSC) consolidated under Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 6, and Cmdr. Richard B. Alsop, commander, NSSC transferred his leadership role to Capt. Eugene P. Sievers, commander, COMSUBRON 6.

Capt. Michael E. Jabaley, a rear admiral select and who currently serves as the Virginia Class Program Manager, was the guest speaker.

“Today is an opportunity to celebrate the entire staff of NSSC,” said Jabaley.  “In a submarine homeport with more than one squadron, an NSSC is established to provide the services that don’t specifically relate to the operation of submarines at sea.  Legal, medical, supply, administration, personnel, force protection, computer networks, and personnel security -they are all support functions, but are tremendously vital to the operations of the submarines.

“If there is only one squadron, then the support functions are rolled into that single squadron.  So with the end of Squadron Eight earlier this year, NSSC Norfolk is disestablished and rolled into Submarine Squadron Six.  NSSC Norfolk has shown great flexibility in how they supported the fleet.  They built a blueprint for how to support our crews across a wide array of areas.  Their primary metric, the combat readiness of the submarine crews, speaks for itself.

“Without a doubt, NSSC Norfolk is a treasure trove of best practices that must be mined to ensure the continued health of the submarine force.  This is a testament to Cmdr. Alsop, his people, and all those who came before him.  When the bell rang, NSSC Norfolk answered it and got the job done.  Losing NSSC is an unfortunate result of the changing fleet, but we don’t have to lose what was built here.”

With Rear Adm. Richard P. Breckenridge, Commander, Submarine Group Two, observing, Jabaley presented Alsop with his third Meritorious Service Medal citing him “for outstanding meritorious service while serving as commanding officer of Naval Submarine Support Center, Norfolk from October 2009 to September 2011.  Commander Alsop's professionalism and initiative were the cornerstone to Norfolk-based submarines maintaining an exceptional state of operational readiness.”

Alsop then reflected on his tour.

“Today, Naval Submarine Support Center Norfolk is being disbanded and I cannot help but feel a great sense of loss and yet also of pride,” said Alsop, who will temporarily serve on the squadron staff until he receives permanent orders.  “Times change and militaries must change with them.  There has to be consolidation and there has to be economy of scale.  Perhaps one of the reasons for our success as a military force is because we have accepted that need for change.  If we had not we would still be using wooden sailing ships armed with cannons instead of the modern sleek nuclear-powered fast attack submarines.

“With a staff of approximately 90 people we provided support for the submarines homeported in Norfolk, as well as for any submarine visiting from around the world, including two foreign submarine visits.  NSSC also supported eight submarine deployments, coordinated the logistics for more than 300 submarine underways and arrivals, and more than 50 high value escort missions executed without incident by our boat division.   Additionally, we also supported eight change-of-command ceremonies, two decommissionings, and one commissioning. To the men and women of Naval Submarine Support Center, your accomplishments speak for themselves.  Well done!”

Sievers concluded the ceremony with his acceptance of additional leadership.

“This ceremony culminates six months of work resulting in the consolidation of three organizations – Submarine Squadron Eight, Submarine Squadron Six, and Naval Submarine Support Center into one efficient submarine squadron,” he said.  “I congratulate Cmdr. Alsop for his efforts in meticulously planning this transition.  He and his staff detailed a plan that defined our final billet structure and the role of each person.  Throughout the time of flux, the service provided by NSSC to the submarines to Naval Station Norfolk and Norfolk Naval Shipyard remained the highest quality.  Well done!

“The consolidation is all about efficiency and we have taken this unique opportunity to streamline processes, co-locate personnel of like-functions, reduce administration requirements and realign directives to support the core mission of Submarine Squadron Six.  Each of these efforts was designed to bring our commanding officers to the forefront.  We rely on our commanding officers and chiefs of the boats to tell us what they need, and they are key tenets of Line of Effort One in the Design for Undersea Warfare. 

“Our core mission is to prepare our ships for deployment to the operational commanders and the organization is well aligned to accomplish that task for our eight assigned submarines.

I am excited to accept the challenge of continuing to improve this new organization and deliver combat ready ship fast attack submarines to the fight wherever and whenever they are called for.  God bless this nation and our Navy.”