On Thursday, November 9th, USS NORTH DAKOTA held a Change of Command. Commander Mark Robinson relieved Commander Mike Hollenbach as Commanding Officer. Our first Commanding Officer Captain Doug Gordon attended the ceremony. Our USS North Dakota Committee hosted a dinner on Wednesday evening, November 8th. CAPT Gordon and his wife Christie, CDR Hollenbach and his wife Heather, CDR Robinson and his wife Andrea, the Executive Officer LCDR Joel Holwitt and his wife Avery joined USSND Committee Members Bill Butcher, Carol Schwenk and Bob Wefald as well as North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum. The Governor and First Lady on that Wednesday afternoon had a full tour of our boat.
The Change of Command was held in the Sub Base theater and was executed in the traditional manner of such a ceremony. Governor Burgum gave brief and heart felt remarks as he recalled his father’s service in the Navy during World War II. A proclamation he had signed was read by the Executive Officer who was the Master of Ceremonies.
Governor Burgum presents his Proclamation to Commander Hollenbach
CDR Hollenbach returns the salute of the side boys as he departs.
CDR Robinson as the Commanding Officer of USS NORTH DAKOTA (USS-784) returns the salute of the side boys as he departs.
Photos were taken at a reception after the Change of Command. From L to R: CAPT Doug Gordon, CDR Mike Hollenbach, Frist Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, CDR Mark Robinson.
Our 1st CO CAPT Doug Gordon recently completed a tour of duty in England and he is now teaching at the Naval War College. Commander Hollenbach is going to be working at the Pentagon. CDR Robinson is a 2000 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. After graduation he attended Navy Diver, Nuclear Power and Submarine training. CDR Robinson’s career has included service on USS CONNECTICUT (SSN-22, USS NEW HAMPSHIRE (SSN-778), and USS HAWAII (SSN-776). CDR Robinson and his wife Andrea have three sons Sean, Connor and Ethan.
For the first half of 2018 our boat is going to be training and working for deployment in the last half of 2018. USS NORTH DAKOTA has completed its post commissioning shipyard availability and has successfully tested all of its weapons so it is now ready to fully begin it rotations of deployments throughout the course of its expected 32 years of service life expectancy.