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Pacific Fleet sub command changes hands

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Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny turned over command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force today after overseeing an increase of submarine activity and the arrival of the first three Virginia-class submarines at Pearl Harbor. 

Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell Jr. took over the sub command, relieving McAneny during a traditional change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

As commander of the submarine fleet in the Pacific, McAneny led a force that includes attack, ballistic-missile and guided-missile submarines, submarine tenders, a floating submarine dock, and a submarine rescue unit.

U.S. submarines in the Pacific are based at Pearl Harbor, Guam, San Diego and in Washington state.

“Over the past two years, Doug has had the enormous task of overseeing submarine operations and being our point man for submarine manning, training and maintenance in the Pacific,” said Adm. Patrick Walsh, head of U.S. Pacific Fleet. “Our submarines bring capabilities that are just vital to our national security as well as alliances in the Asia-Pacific region. Under Doug’s guidance, the Pacific submarine force has dramatically improved its combat readiness, meeting increased national tasking while maintaining the highest standards of operational excellence.”

The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review mandated that 60 percent of U.S. attack submarines be home ported in the Pacific, and during McAneny’s tenure, that goal was realized.

Among the additions, three new Virginia-class attack submarines, the Hawaii, Texas and North Carolina, were moved to Pearl Harbor.

“The dominance the force provides to the Navy and the nation today revolves around one key axis — credible deterrent power,” McAneny said. Today, nearly 50 percent of the Pacific Fleet submarine force is under way, he said.

Submarines under McAneny’s command conducted 37 deployments to the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Southern Command areas of responsibility as well as 44 strategic deterrent patrols, officials said. 

“My sailors deserve the best support I can broker for them,” McAneny said. “And I am blessed with the leadership I have available to me to support the mission — nothing but the best from nothing but the best.”

Walsh presented McAneny with the Legion of Merit for his exceptionally meritorious service prior to the official reading of orders and transfer of command to Caldwell.

“I consider it an absolute privilege to lead the Pacific Submarine Force,” said Caldwell in his first remarks to his command. “We are entrusted with an incredible responsibility to the American people. That responsibility is unrelenting. It’s a responsibility that demands our operational readiness.”

Caldwell is a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He previously was commander of Submarine Group 9 in Bangor, Wash.

McAneny will report in January as commandant of the National War College, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.


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