US Submarine Force Changes Command

Vice Adm. Joseph E. Tofalo relieved Vice Adm. Michael J. Connor as Commander, Submarine Forces in a change of command ceremony aboard the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Newport News (SSN 750) in Norfolk, Virginia, Sept. 11.

Since taking command of the submarine force in September 2012, Vice Adm. Connor played a pivotal role in the future of the force. A native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Vice Adm. Connor graduated from Bowdoin College in 1980. He is a Mahan Scholar and distinguished graduate of the Naval War College with a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs and Strategic Studies.

Connor commanded USS Seawolf (SSN 21) from 1997 to 2000. He served as Commander, Submarine Squadron 8 from March 2003 through July 2004. From June 2008 until April 2010, he served as commander, Submarine Group 7, Task Force 54/74 Yokosuka, Japan.

Connor’s shore assignments include service at the Navy Operational Intelligence Center; Flag Secretary for the Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and Prospective Commanding Officer Instructor for U.S. Atlantic Fleet. He has served on the Joint Staff, on the staff of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy; and as director, Submarine Warfare Division (N87); director, Naval Warfare Integration Group (N00X); and assistant deputy chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (N9B) on the OPNAV staff.

Vice Adm. Joe Tofalo graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He also holds a master’s in Engineering Management from Catholic University of America.

A career submarine officer, Tofalo’s at-sea assignments include USS Flasher (SSN 613), USS Michigan (SSGN 727), and USS Montpelier (SSN 765). His at-sea command assignments were as commanding officer of USS Maine (SSBN 741) and commander, Submarine Squadron 3.

Tofalo’s staff assignments include three assignments on Commander, Submarine Forces staff; two assignments on Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces staff; four assignments on the Chief of Naval Operations staff; U.S. Joint Forces Command; and the Joint Staff.

Selected for rear admiral in December 2009, his first flag assignment was as deputy chief of staff for Global Force Management and Joint Operations (N3B), U.S. Fleet Forces Command. In August 2011, he relieved as commander, Submarine Group 10 and in December 2013 as director, Undersea Warfare on the Chief of Naval Operations staff in the Pentagon.

Image: US Navy

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