Commander Mike Hollenbach, the Commanding Officer of USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784), has given us an update about our boat. He reports she is in the hands of General Dynamics Electric Boat at the shipyard in Groton CT where she is undergoing Post-commissioning Shipyard Availability to get her equipped with all of the latest updates before she returns to the active Navy and real world assignments.
Commander Hollenbach writes: “The onset of 2016 has definitely provided some busy times for the NORTH DAKOTA. For starters, we continue to experience a rather large and dramatic turnover of crew members, especially in the Wardroom and Chief’s Quarters. Over a typical submarine life cycle, it is desired to space out the rotation of crew members so that about 25-35 percent of the crew turns over each year. However, it takes a while to achieve the desired balance. With NORTH DAKOTA still being relatively close to the Commissioning, many of our crew members reported right around the same time. This means they are all due to rotate around the same time and it will take another year or two to stagger out all the reliefs and achieve the optimum rotation.” He notes “It is a huge testament to the success of NORTH DAKOTA that so many of our officers are continuing with their Naval careers and will do great things in the future.”
As for other events in the Groton area Commander Hollenbach writes “the annual Dolphin Scholarship fundraiser was held last week. The dress up theme for the event was Mad Men – 60’s Cocktail Party. I have attached several photos of the NORTH DAKOTA from the event.”
Wardroom members at the event:
Left to Right: LTJG Mike Vongonten, LTJG Brian Acquaviva, LTJG Greg Pavone, LTJG Saverio Maldari, LT Brad Bersin, ENS Dustin Miner, LT Jim Kelly, LCDR Cameron Aljilani (XO), CDR Mike Hollenbach (CO), LTJG Dave Mann, LT Justin McCorkle
Wardroom, CPO Quarters attendees and all the spouses/dates (too many to name):
Commander Hollenbach notes the next large event in Groton is the Annual Submarine Birthday Ball, which will be held in the Grand Ballroom at Foxwoods Casino on April 2nd.