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PEARL HARBOR - Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) conducted a change of command ceremony on the brow of the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777), April 29.
Rear Adm. Jeffrey Jablon, from Frostburg, Maryland, relieved Rear Adm. Blake Converse, from Montoursville, Pennsylvania, as the 43rd commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, during the ceremony, which was held at the historic submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
"It's been an honor to be part of the finest Submarine Force in the world for over 30 years," said Converse. "I am humbled to have commanded our Navy's largest Submarine Fleet, and I will be forever grateful to have been a part of such an exceptionally capable and competent war fighting team."
Converse led a force that included 13,000 Sailors and civilians, 35 submarines, two tenders, and the global undersea surveillance network. He guided his forces through the full spectrum of force generation, including 28 attack- and guided-missile submarine deployments and 36 strategic patrols. Partnering with Naval Special Warfare, he expanded the capabilities of the Submarine-Special Operating Force team.
"I can say that we clearly have the right team in place today to continue and build our Submarine Force," said Converse. "Every day I've served at COMSUBPAC, I've seen extraordinary energy and intensity, and an unwavering commitment in what we do. It has been an absolute joy to work in a place where everyone shares and believes in the mission with such passion."
Converse is going to Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet to serve as the deputy commander.
Adm. John Aquilino, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, sent his gratitude as he was unable to attend the ceremony.
"Blake [Converse], thank you for your dynamic leadership over the last two years. Your hard work shows in your selection as our new Pacific Fleet deputy," said Aquilino. "Blake's continuous flawless execution of the submarine force pushed the team and the community to new heights while supporting the 3rd and 7th Fleets. The U.S. Navy Submarine Force is our most critical war fighting capability and that's not easy to say coming from an aviator!"
Vice Adm. Scott Conn, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, was the guest speaker at the ceremony.
"The Pacific Submarine Force, under Blake's leadership, has stood tall, and advanced both technology and tactics at a rapid pace," said Conn. "Good luck as deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet, you have the right sight picture and the right instincts for the job."
Jablon comes to COMSUBPAC from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, where he served as Director, Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division.
"It's an honor and a profound privilege to stand before you today as COMSUBPAC," said Jablon. "It is not lost on me the rich history, tradition, and impact this command has had and continues to have on our Navy, the Joint Force, and the world. My wife and I are excited to rejoin the COMSUBPAC Ohana and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together."