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Commander, Submarine Group Two


 
 
100422-N-3090M-175 GROTON, Conn. (April 22, 2010) – Capt.
Michael Bernacchi, Commander Submarine Squadron 4, observes
as Cmdr. John McGunnigle, left, assumes command of Virginia-class
attack submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) from Cmdr. Michael
Stevens at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea
chapel. New Hampshire is currently undergoing a Post- Shakedown
Availability following her first deployment, and first overseas
deployment for the Virginia-class. U.S. Navy photo by Mass
Communication Specialist First Class Steven Myers.

New Hampshire Crew Welcomes New Commander

GROTON, Conn. – Cmdr. Michael Stevens turned over command of USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) to Cmdr. John E. McGunnigle, Jr. in a change of command ceremony April 22 at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea Chapel.

 Guest speaker Rear Admiral William Hilarides, Program Executive Officer for Submarines, spoke about the hard work Stevens and his crew put into New Hampshire.

 “The crew was instrumental in getting the boat delivered early,” said Hilarides, “Without a high performing crew, there is no way of hoping to finish early and to deliver the full mission capability that was demonstrated afterwards.”

With Stevens at the helm, New Hampshire’s crew transitioned the ship from a shipyard project into a deployed, combat ready submarine that successfully executed the first overseas deployment of the Virginia Class, operating in both the U.S European Command and African Command areas of responsibility.

 Additionally, the crew was awarded the first Submarine Squadron 4 Battle Efficiency “E” for fiscal year 2009 prior to its Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA).

A PSA is the last major repair and upgrade opportunity before a multi-year, multi-deployment period in a ship's life.

 Stevens said that while he often worries about the future of our liberty, he has an antidote for his anxiety.

 “To your left and right is the crew of the USS New Hampshire,” said Stevens.  “Daily, I have been granted the immeasurable good fortune to serve with these men. John is a gifted Naval Officer and I am relieved to be leaving my crew in the hands of such a capable Commanding Officer.”

 Stevens will next serve as a staff member in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

For McGunnigle, a native of Boston, Mass., this is an opportunity to take command of his first Submarine.

 "To the crew of the New Hampshire," said McGunnigle.  "I am honored to join the New Hampshire team and am extremely privileged to be your commanding officer."

McGunnigle previously served as Navigator/Operations Officer aboard USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) Blue in Kings Bay, Ga., and Executive Officer aboard USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) in Bangor, Wa.

 

 

100422-N-3090M-130 GROTON, Conn. (April 22, 2010) – Cmdr. Michael Stevens salutes during the National Anthem beginning the USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base new London’s Shepherd of the Sea chapel. Later in the ceremony, Stevens turned over command of the Virginia- class attack submarine to Cmdr. John McGunnigle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Steven Myers

 

100422-N-3090M-153 GROTON, Conn. (April 22, 2010) – Rear Adm. William Hilarides, Program Executive Officer for Submarines, presents Cmdr. Michael Stevens the Meritorious Service Medal for his leadership as commanding officer as Capt. Michael Bernacchi, Commander Submarine Squadron 4, observes at the USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea chapel. Stevens turned over command of the Virginia- class submarine to Cmdr. John McGunnigle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Steven Myers

 

100422-N-3090M-219 GROTON, Conn. (April 22, 2010) – Cmdr. John McGunnigle, Commanding Officer USS New Hampshire (SSN 778), departs through the sideboys following a change of command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea chapel. McGunnigle assumed command of the Virginia-class submarine from Cmdr. Michael Stevens. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Steven Myers.