The Gold Crew of Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) held a change of command ceremony Oct. 25 at Deterrent Park.
Cmdr. Dale Klein relieved Cmdr. Richard Massie as commanding officer.
Massie, who assumed command of the Gold Crew in May 2010, completed five strategic deterrent patrols. During his command tour the crew was twice selected as the Pacific Fleet nominee for the Omaha trophy, the 2011 Olympic Bowl trophy winner for outstanding trident submarine performance, the 2012 Submarine Squadron 17 Battle Efficiency “E” winner, and the Navy-wide submarine category runner-up for the 2013 Captain Edward F. Ney Award. Massie was also selected as the 2013 Pacific Fleet recipient of the Vice Adm. James Stockdale Leadership Award.
“I have always been impressed with [Massie’s] ability to successfully lead his crew to accomplish any mission tasked. This has included numerous short notice voyage repair periods, at-sea extensions, and early underways in support of our strategic commitment,” said Commander of Submarine Squadron 17 Capt. Mark Behning.
Massie is headed to Commander, Submarine Squadron 19 where he will serve as the deputy commander.
“Let me say that I am incredibly proud to hold that title of captain, USS Maine SSBN-741 Gold, even for a few seconds. I will miss it more than you know,” said Massie to his crew. “You have done everything I have asked of you and more. Your job is a difficult one with precious little room to bask in the glory of your many accolades. Take pride in the fact that you never relax in your pursuit of excellence. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as your captain.”
Klein comes to Maine Gold from U.S. Strategic Command. His previous submarine tours include USS Newport News (SSN 750), USS Seawolf (SSN 21) and USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735).
“I want to thank Cmdr. Massie for turning over a fully capable and well trained crew. I’ve seen them in action, and I am honored to follow him as commanding officer,” said Klein.
Maine is one of eight Ohio-class Trident ballistic missile submarines stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash., providing the survivable leg of the nation’s strategic deterrent forces.
Press Release, October 29, 2013; Image: US Navy