"You leave behind a winning team," wrote Richardson. "Your deep personal commitment to your people, duty and community were a shining example for the entire submarine force."
Commanding officer since December 2008, Gabriel led his crew through the most demanding and complex mission a submarine is tasked to perform, a strike mission in support of Joint Task Force (JTF) Odyssey Dawn. Disestablished on March 30, JTF Odyssey Dawn was a U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.
"The success of your ship's mission in support of the coalition operation contributed to enhancing the security in this vital region," wrote Richardson. "Your superior tactical abilities and focus on operational excellence was critical to the coalition's successful initial strike."
Any accomplishments or successes by Providence are a direct result of a talented crew, said Gabriel.
"The truth is that these men have sworn to protect, serve and defend this nation with their life, if necessary. Over the last six months, they have done that and have done it extremely well; and, they will go on doing that well after I am gone," said Gabriel.
Gabriel, a native of Howell, NJ, will next serve as a representative for Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT) at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire.
"Cmdr. Gabriel, I appreciate your outstanding accomplishment in building this group of exceptional Sailors who have consistently excelled at every task given," said Quan, as he took command of Providence. "You are turning over a focused and motivated team, and I am convince there is no better group of Sailors to work with on the waterfront."
"Mike, I welcome you to the command family and Submarine Squadron 2," said Capt. Peter Clarke, Commodore of Submarine Squadron 2. "You're inheriting a worthy ship and crew. The Navy has great confidence in your ability to maintain Providence's great record of success, and I look forward to hearing about your continued excellence."
Quan previously served as deputy commander of Submarine Squadron 4. From March 2006 to May 2008, he served as Executive Officer of USS Hawaii (SSN 776), guiding the crew through delivery to the Navy, commissioning and the ship’s maiden deployment.
USS Providence (SSN 719), named for the capital city of Rhode Island, is the fifth ship of our Naval history to bear the name.