One of the three most advanced U.S. Navy submarines, the USS Seawolf, has welcomed a new commander during a ceremony held at Naval Base Bremerton in Washington.
Cmdr. Christopher George relieved Capt. Jeffrey Bierley and assumed the duties and responsibilities of commanding officer for the Seawolf crew.
Bierley assumed command of the Seawolf crew in February of 2014. During his leadership, the crew completed a six-month deployment, where they completed important national and anti-submarine warfare tasking, theater security cooperation port visits, participated in sea exercises with partner nations, and surfaced from under the ice twice.
They conducted initial testing for a prototype research and development system designed to enhance the ocean sensing capability of fast-attack submarines. The crew also received the SUBDEVRON 5 Battle Efficiency “E” award for both 2014 and 2015.
“USS Seawolf has a deserved reputation as the most capable submarine ever constructed,” said George. “It is a truly humbling and daunting responsibility to command such a ship and follow in Capt. Bierley’s footsteps.”
Seawolf, commissioned July 19, 1997, is the first of the Navy’s three Seawolf-class submarines. USS Connecticut and USS Seawolf are based at Bremerton, Washington while the USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), which is 100 foot longer than its two counterparts, is based at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Originally intended as a class of 29 submarines, the end of the Cold War and budget constraints led to a restructuring of the class to three submarines. The Seawolf is significantly quieter than any Los Angeles class submarine, faster, has more torpedoes tubes and can carry more weapons – up to 50 torpedoes or missiles, or 100 mines.
USS Jimmy Carter is additionally fitted with an extra section called the multi-mission platform which serves to launch and recover ROVs or Navy Seal forces.