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Submarine Group Nine welcomes new commander
Commander, Submarine Group Nine, Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina was relieved by Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell Jr. during a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Aug. 7.
Giardina, a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, oversaw numerous events as commander including all West Coast fleet ballistic missile submarines achieving 100 percent weapons, navigation and communication readiness while on patrol; the submarine force celebration of the 1,000th Ohio Class SSBN Strategic Deterrent Patrol; and the conversion and successful first patrol of USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and USS Michigan (SSGN 727).
Prior to turning over command, Giardina addressed his staff and those in attendance, saying, “it has been a truly wonderful and professionally rewarding experience.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have a group of smart, energetic and motivated professionals working for me for the last 21 months,” he said.
Vice Adm. John Donnelly, Commander, Submarine Force, spoke of Giardina’s vast leadership qualities.
“Command of Submarine Group Nine, with all of the submarines and component commands, is a big job,” Donnelly said. “It is one that requires a strong leader with energy, vision, war fighting expertise and, above all else, the leadership skills to inspire our submariners and those who support them.”
Caldwell, an Idaho native, said he was looking forward to working with the local military and community leaders.
“Adm. Giardina leaves a force that is in great shape and with the help of a large supporting cast, I intend to build on what he has done and make that force even better,” Caldwell said.
Giardina will report to U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. as Director of Readiness and Training.