Rear Adm. Jeffrey B. Cassias relieved Rear Adm.
Paul F. Sullivan as Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
in a change of command ceremony onboard USS Pasadena (SSN-752),
Apr. 20, 2005.
speaker, Adm. Walter F. Doran, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet,
said that Cassias is ready to take the helm of COMSUBPAC. “I
look forward to working with you. I know that you are the right
man to guide this command and this community. There will be challenges,
perhaps great challenges, but I have the utmost confidence in
your ability to lead this force,” said Doran.
retiring after 35 years of naval service. According to Sullivan,
the Sailors in the Submarine Force have had a very special place
in his life.
“It isn’t long before we find ourselves
teaching others – passing
on to our shipmates what we have been taught, and improving it a little
along the way. We continue learning, improving, and passing it
on until the day we stand where I stand today...the day we’re
piped ashore,” said Sullivan.
“In that sense we are
part of a legacy. A legacy means that you learn from those who
came before you, carry on what their traditions of excellence,
and then pass them to the next generation. As I leave the Navy
today, I leave knowing that this force is in excellent hands,
and I leave deeply honored to have been a part of this legacy,” Sullivan
Shortly before ‘going ashore,’ Sullivan compared
his angst as a junior officer more than three decades ago to
the proud and confident fleet commander he became.
that Pier Sierra 9 was the first place he came ashore in Hawaii
on his first submarine, USS Caiman (SS-323), he said, “The
emotions swirling through my head today are very similar to what
I felt over three decades ago. This time I have no thoughts of
apprehension, but of only joy. I’m overwhelmed
at the responsibility I’ve had, and I’m deeply proud to be
a part of such a great team. I am very honored that I was given such
a wonderful opportunity to serve our Nation.”
According to Cassias,
he is looking forward to taking charge of the Pacific Fleet Submarine
Force. “I have been impressed by your professionalism and devotion
to duty, and I look forward to working with you. The Submarine Force
today is as relevant as it ever has been, particularly here in the
Pacific. I have great faith in each and everyone of you and I am confident
that you will rise to all of the exciting challenges that you will
face during my tour,” said Cassias.
As the COMSUBPAC commander,
Sullivan was responsible for more than 9,300 Navy and civilian personnel,
25 nuclear-powered attack submarines, seven ballistic missile submarines,
two guided missile (SSGN) submarines, one support ship, and one deep
salvage rescue vessel. The homeports include Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,
Bangor, Wash., San Diego, Calif., and Guam.
While serving as the
Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet from August 2003,
Sullivan was instrumental in implementing the SSGN program. The
converted ballistic missile submarines can accommodate up to
60 Special Forces personnel and a weapons payload of more than
150 Tomahawk missiles.
|Rear Adm. Jeffrey B. Cassias delivers
remarks during his change of command ceremony onboard USS Pasadena (SSN-752).
Cassias relieved Rear Adm. Paul Sullivan as Commander, Submarine
Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
In October 2004, the ‘Silent Hammer’ exercise
off the coast of San Diego demonstrated how a network of ground
forces sea-based on an SSGN can fill joint gaps in intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance and time-sensitive strike by
conducting a large scale clandestine operation using unmanned organic
systems (unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned underwater vehicles)
to increase capabilities and reduce risk.
Sullivan was also the
guest speaker when Sailors paid tribute to USS Parche (SSN-683)
and its 30-plus years of service to the U.S. Navy during a decommissioning
and change of command ceremony at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
(PSNS) Oct. 19, 2004. Throughout its 30-year career, Parche earned
numerous accolades, including nine Presidential Unit Citations
and 10 Navy Unit Commendations.
Cassias’ previous assignment
was as Commander Submarine Group TEN Commander Submarine Group
TWO and Commander Navy Region Northeast. His sea tours have included
USS Haddock (SSN-621), USS Parche (SSN-683), USS Hawkbill (SSN-666),
and USS Puffer (SSN-652), and he served as commanding officer,
USS Birmingham (SSN-695) from April 1992 to