US Navy establishes first unmanned undersea vehicle squadron

Capt. Robert Gaucher turns over command to Capt. Stephen Mack during a change of command ceremony for Submarine Development Squadron (DEVRON) 5. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has established its first dedicated unmanned undersea vehicle squadron – UUVRON 1 – at a ceremony at Naval Undersea Warfare Center, September 26.

In addition to the establishment of a new squadron, the ceremony saw Submarine Development Squadron 5 change command with Capt. Stephen Mack relieving Capt. Robert Gaucher as commodore during the ceremony held at Barb Hall.

Cmdr. Scott Smith will be in charge of the newly-formed undersea vehicle squadron.

“It’s very important to note that today is not only a very important day for Capt. Steve Mack and me, but it is a historical day for the Navy, Submarine Force and DEVRON 5,” said Gaucher. “Today we are transitioning our UUV Detachment into the first UUV Squadron. Why is this historical? It’s because in standing up UUVRON 1, it shows our Navy’s commitment to the future of unmanned systems and undersea combat.”

Gaucher assumed command of DEVRON 5 March 23, 2016. During his leadership, Gaucher supported the development and launched the Navy’s first Unmanned Undersea Vehicle squadron, oversaw the successful deployments of the Seawolf-class fast attack submarines USS Connecticut (SSN 22) and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), and provided Immediate Superior in Charge-level oversight of all three Seawolf-class submarines during major shipyard maintenance periods.

“I have truly enjoyed this tour and hate to turn over the reins, but if you read Steve Mack’s biography, you’ll see he has an exceptional resume and I know that he’ll do great as commodore,” said Gaucher. “To the team of DEVRON 5, it has been an honor to be your commodore.”

DEVRON 5 is charged with multiple submarine warfare mission areas to include submarine rescue operations and the activities of its three Seawolf-Class submarines. DEVRON 5 is responsible for developing and testing new submarine warfare capabilities, including the use of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles.

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