US Navy ballistic missile submarine changes command

One of two crews assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) held a change of command ceremony at the Keyport Undersea Museum on January 13.

Cmdr. Steven Everhart, relieved Cmdr. John Cage as commander of the Blue crew.

Most notably, the Blue crew recently returned from a 92-day patrol, where they conducted a scheduled port visit to Apra Harbor, Guam. This was the first time since 1986 that an SSBN has pulled into Guam.

Cage assumed command of Pennsylvania’s Blue crew March 28, 2014. During his leadership, the crew completed four strategic deterrent patrols, they received the Pacific Fleet Outstanding Trident Award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the retention excellence award. Also, 121 officers and enlisted sailors received their submarine warfare qualifications, or “dolphins” during Cage’s time in command.

Cage’s next duty station is Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he will serve as the Director for Strategic Forces, Nuclear Weapons, and Force Protection at Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

“To the crew, the ones who really deserve all of the credit for the success of Pennsylvania during my tour, you stand a watch that most people never think about, yet it’s the one that has helped keep our country safe for almost 60 years,” said Cage.

Everhart comes to Pennsylvania from Washington D.C., where he served as the executive officer of the Operations, Evaluation and Training Branch of Strategic Systems Programs.

Pennsylvania is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, providing the most survivable leg of the nation’s strategic deterrent forces.

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