BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) - Commander, Submarine Group 9 (CSG9) conducted a change of command ceremony Oct. 29 at Deterrent Park aboard Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.

Rear Adm. Robert Hennegan relieved Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell Jr., who received his second star earlier in the day, at the ceremony.

"As I stand here in Deterrent Park, where I've stood many times over the last year in various ceremonies, I have to count my many blessings," said Caldwell, who commanded CSG9 since August 2009. "I've had the opportunity to command a team of the most committed professionals that you could imagine and the privilege of working with the finest people that you would ever want to be associated with.

"In the end, this day is not about me or Rear Adm. Bob Hennegan. Instead, it's about the continuity of a very important mission of the submarine force and our Navy in support of the nation. And today is a chance to recognize and celebrate the daily contributions of a team that does this mission."

Caldwell, a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, oversaw certification and conduct of 25 strategic deterrent patrols by Trident ballistic-missile submarines during his command tour, as well as training and certification of crews for the guided-missile submarines USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and USS Michigan (SSGN 727). He also provided waterfront mentoring with a focus on Sailor development, resulting in the highest retention and lowest attrition rates in the Pacific Fleet.

Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny, commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, who presided over the ceremony, spoke highly of Caldwell's leadership qualities.

"The confidence of our country and our leadership is built on a solid foundation of operational excellence, which is the product of Frank's legacy as commander of Submarine Group 9," said McAneny. "The dedicated Sailors of Submarine Group 9, who work tirelessly in support of the defense of our great nation, are sustaining our drive to protect the world from tyranny as we deliver the next generation of sea-based strategic deterrence."

After receiving the Legion of Merit from McAneny for his exemplary command of CSG9, Caldwell read his orders to the assembled service members and guests. Hennegan then followed by reading his orders, and McAneny received the report of relief from Hennegan, marking the official change of command.

Hennegan comes to CSG9 from U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Neb., where he served as deputy commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike. Previously, Hennegan commanded the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) and Submarine Squadrons 6 and 8.

"You are all part of a vital team here in the Pacific Northwest, with a tremendously important mission that you have performed superbly under the leadership of Frank Caldwell," said Hennegan. "I look forward to the challenges we face together, and I am honored to join your team."

Caldwell will relieve McAneny as commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, in a ceremony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 2009.

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