On Thursday, July 23, 2015, at the U.S. Naval Base in Groton CT the first Change of Command of our boat USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784) was held. It was a great Navy day! Captain Doug Gordon was relieved by Commander Mike Hollenbach. Captain Gordon had a long and very successful tenure as Commanding Officer of PCU (Pre Commissioning Unit) and later USS (United States Ship) NORTH DAKOTA as he was assigned in December 2009. Captain Gordon was involved in monitoring all aspects of the boat’s construction while assembling and training her crew. When our boat went out for sea trials she achieved the highest score ever given on an INSERV Inspection, and she did that with a crew in which more than half of them had never been to sea on a submarine. Captain Gordon’s next assignment will be at the Allied maritime Command in Northwood, England. Commander Hollenbach’s most recent submarine was as Executive Officer of USS MIAMI (SSN- 755).
Here are some photos from the Change of Command:
The crew assembled.
Our Ship’s Sponsor Katie Fowler with her husband Bismarck’s own Vice Admiral Jeff Fowler.
The dry dock shelter can be seen as the boat was just back in port after its historic and very successful launch and recovery of an Underwater Unmanned Drone.
Captain was decorated for his successful command tour.
In the best Navy tradition. “I relieve you, Sir.”, “I stand relieved.”
Rear Admiral (soon to be Vice Admiral) Rick Breckenridge was the guest speaker. He is a real friend of our boat and of the great state of North Dakota.
Our USSND Committee delegation. L to R Kelvin Hulett, Sr., our guest, Kelvin Hulett, Bill Butcher, Annie Bergrud, Bob Wefald.
Captain Doug and Christine Gordon are off to their next assignment in England.
IT WAS A GREAT NAVY DAY!!