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Entire Boomer Fleet Receives Meritorious Unit Commendation

On July 20, 2012, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation to the ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) force. This commendation, a unit award equivalent to the Bronze Star, recognizes the boomer fleet’s excellence in deterrence between July 16, 2007 and January 28, 2010. Award ceremonies were held in Bangor, Wash. and Kings Bay, Ga., the homeports of the ballistic-missile submarines in Pacific Task Force 134 and Atlantic Task Force 144. These ceremonies took place on the 52nd anniversary of the Navy’s first submerged ballistic-missile launch, made by USS George Washington (SSBN 598) in July 1960.

Task Force 134 is comprised of eight SSBNs – USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730), USS Alabama (SSBN 731), USS Nevada (SSBN 733), USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735), USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), USS Nebraska (SSBN 739), USS Maine (SSBN 741), and USS Louisiana (SSBN 743). Additionally, it includes Submarine Group 9, Submarine Squadron 17, and Naval Submarine Support Center Bangor. Task Force 144 is comprised of six SSBNs – USS Alaska (SSBN 732), USS Tennessee (SSBN 734), USS West Virginia (SSBN 736), USS Maryland (SSBN 738), USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740), USS Wyoming (SSBN 742), as well as Submarine Group 10, Submarine Squadron 20, and Naval Submarine Support Center Kings Bay.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ahron Arendes

Adm. John M. Richardson Assumes Duties as Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program

On November 2, 2012, Adm. John M. Richardson relieved Adm. Kirkland H. Donald as Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program in a ceremony attended by several hundred distinguished guests at the Washington Navy Yard. The Director is appointed for a term of eight years and is responsible for oversight of development and operations of all Naval nuclear reactors. Adm. Richardson, a submariner and 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is the sixth Director of Naval Reactors.

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Adm. John Richardson shakes hands with Adm. Kirkland Donald after relieving him as the Director of Naval Reactors at a change of command ceremony. Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor

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Stockdale Award Recipients

The Chief of Naval Operations presented the annual Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership to Cmdr. Brian Sittlow and Cmdr. Chase Patrick in a ceremony at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes on Nov. 27, 2012. Cmdr. Sittlow, the Atlantic Fleet recipient, is the Commanding Officer of USS Boise (SSN 764); Cmdr. Patrick, the Pacific Fleet recipient, is the former CO of USS Chafee (DDG 90).

The Stockdale Award was established by the Navy in 1980 to honor Vice Adm. James Stockdale, a Medal Honor recipient who was held for eight years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. The award is presented annually to two commanding officers below the grade of captain who command operational units. The most important criteria is a judgment of the unit’s overall excellence, with particular emphasis on the candidate’s exemplifying the selected roles of leadership emphasized by Vice Adm. Stockdale in his writing: moralist, jurist, teacher, steward, and philosopher.

Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor


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