Submarine Group Two Changes Commanders
GROTON, Conn. – Submarine Group Two held a change of command ceremony Feb. 26 at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea Chapel.
During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Paul Bushong turned over command to Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin.
“I truly enjoyed my time here in Groton, particularly since I lived on base. I did not have to shovel my own snow,” joked Bushong. “It is somewhat of a surprise to be leaving so soon, but in a good way. It does make this bittersweet in that I am giving up a command I enjoyed very much, but it is definitely a plus to be moving to another command tour.”
Next, Bushong, a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, heads to Guam to serve as Commander, Navy Region Marianas/U.S. Pacific Command representative, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas.
Bushong last served in Guam as the Commanding Officer aboard USS Frank Cable (AS 40), home ported in Apra Harbor.
Bushong received the Legion of Merit award. According to the award’s citation, Bushong’s local community involvement enhanced the Submarine Force's reputation and cultivated positive relationships with local students, businesses, and government officials. In additional, his operational direction while preparing for and executing Pre-Commissioning Unit New Mexico (SSN 779) sea trials resulted in the fastest Virginia-class submarine delivery on record.
McLaughlin, also a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was happy to be back in Groton to offer his energy and leadership skills to Submarine Group Two.
“I could not have asked for a better assignment,” said McLaughlin, “or a better opportunity to command. Returning to Groton is always a welcomed event, and I am sure Karen and I will enjoy New England, for hopefully a couple of seasons.”
McLaughlin previously commanded USS La Jolla (SSN 701) and Submarine Squadron Eleven and served as Executive Officer aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit Hartford (SSN 768) and USS Dallas (SSN 700). He last served on the Joint Staff as deputy director for Operations.
Guest speaker Vice Adm. John Donnelly, Commander Submarine Force, served with both Bushong and McLaughlin. He had high praise for both men who were placed in “the position that requires a strong leader with lots of energy, vision, war-fighting expertise and above all the leadership skills to inspire our submariners and those who support them.”
“I credit both of these men with much of my success, and it’s deeply satisfying for me to watch them excel in their careers,” said Donnelly.
The commander of Submarine Group Two is responsible for ensuring that all 30 crews of the attack submarines on the east coast are ready to answer the call. Responsible for Submarine Squadrons Two, Four, and Submarine Development Squadron Twelve in Groton as well as Submarine Squadrons Six and Eight in Norfolk, Commander, Submarine Group Two also exercises responsibility for the training and certification of new construction and overhaul ships and crews at Electric Boat and Portsmouth Naval Shipyards.
100226-N-3090M-177 GROTON, Conn. (February 26, 2010) – Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin relieves Rear Adm. Paul Bushong as Commander Submarine Group 2 as Vice Adm. John Donnelly, Commander Submarine Force, observes. The change of command ceremony was held at Naval Submarine Base new London’s shepherd of the Sea chapel. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Steven Myers.
100226-N-5339S-119 GROTON, Conn. (February 26, 2010) – Navy Band Northeast, under the direction of Lt. Carl Gerhard, left, provide music during the Submarine Group 2 change of command. During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin relieved Rear Adm. Paul Bushong. U.S. Navy photo by Electronics Technician First Class John Sabados.
100226-N-5339S-230 GROTON, Conn. (February 26, 2010) – Rear Adm. Paul Bushong’s wife, Dona, and daughter, Sarah, receive flowers during the Submarine Group 2 Change of command. During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Michael McLaughlin relieved Rear Adm. Paul Bushong as Commander Submarine Group 2. U.S. Navy photo by Electronics Technician First Class John Sabados.