By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR – The command of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) was passed on today, Aug. 12, as Cmdr. Douglas Bradley was relieved by Cmdr. Paul Pampuro as commanding officer at a time-honored change of command ceremony atop the historic battleship USS Missouri, the “Mighty MO.”
Bradley expressed how proud he is of having had the opportunity to be in command of the submarine and working with some outstanding Sailors.
“Team Asheville, it has been an honor to lead you, take you to the front lines, and bring you home,” said Bradley. “Crew, you did beyond my wildest expectations, you never cease to amaze me and as a result, Asheville was ready when called. You had my complete confidence to do anything, and made the most of every opportunity.”
In command for more than two years, Bradley led his submarine to complete a deployment certification, a six-month Western Pacific deployment, a homeport shift from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, and commenced a two-year shipyard maintenance period.
The ceremony’s guest speaker, Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, praised Bradley for an amazing job in command.
“Doug, you and your team have had across-the-board success,” said Sawyer. “Successes for the submarine force, the U.S. Navy, and for our nation. You can be justifiably proud of what you’ve accomplished. Congratulations on a highly successful tour!”
During the ceremony, Bradley was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his successes in command of Asheville from March 2012 to Aug. 2014.
As Pampuro assumed command of Asheville, he thanked Bradley for turning over a very capable ship and a highly loyal crew.
“Commander Bradley, sir, you have done something special with Asheville,” said Pampuro. “I am well aware of the legacy I am inheriting, the pattern of success that you have carried on.”
Pampuro went on to address the crew and tell them of the adventures that await them in the near future, following the current shipyard maintenance period.
“Together we will breathe life back into her and the ‘Ghost of the Coast’ will return to the ocean depths where she belongs, to do great things for our nation. There is no higher honor; I am most humbled and extremely proud to be an Asheville shipmate.”
Asheville is the fourth ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for Asheville, North Carolina. She is a Los Angeles-class submarine, ideally suited for covert surveillance, intelligence gathering and special forces missions. This stealth, when combined with the submarine’s Tomahawk cruise missiles, mines and torpedoes, provides the operational commander with an unseen force multiplier.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit http://www.csp.navy.mil/.