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    USS Alabama Gold Conducts Change of Command

    USS Alabama Gold Conducts Change of Command

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Andrea Perez | SILVERDALE, Wash. (Sept. 8, 2020) - Commander Thorpe, from New Mexico, assumed the...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Andrea Perez 

    Commander, Submarine Group Nine

    SILVERDALE, Wash. (Sept. 8, 2020) - The gold crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN 731) conducted a change of command, Sept. 8.

    Cmdr. John M. Thorpe, from New Mexico, relieved Cmdr. William Filip, from Manchester, New Hampshire, to assume the duties and responsibilities as Alabama gold’s commanding officer.

    Commodore Capt. Todd Figanbaum, Commander, Submarine Squadron 17, spoke of how Filip positively impacted Alabama’s crew culture, while accomplishing an incredible amount; including leading Alabama through a complete fire control system upgrade – making it the first SSBN to execute the task.

    “Alabama gold had an outstanding championship run under Cmdr. Filip,” said Figanbaum. “The crew did one of the hardest things that can be expected of any submarine crew, and they just keep getting better and better every day.”

    Filip also led the crew through a 14-month extended refit period, followed by a return to sea for the Alabama’s first strategic patrol, post CNO availability. Filip shared his sentiment toward the crew for their dedication and hard work during his tenure.

    “I’d like to thank you all for your continued service to our country, our Submarine Force mission and unyielding dedication to Alabama and her crew,” said Filip. “I’ve often said that submarining is a team sport, and it’s been an honor to have each of you on my team.”

    Thorpe comes to Alabama from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, where he served as the assistant force government program manager for the implementation and management of special access programs throughout the Fleet.

    “To the crew of the Alabama… know that I’m honored and humbled to be here as your commanding officer,” said Thorpe. “Our challenge as we move forward is to continue building upon that excellence that we’ve discussed so far… and I’m certain that we can do it together as a team. I look forward to serving with you on a daily basis. I can’t wait to get started – Go Bama!”

    Alabama was commissioned in New London, Connecticut, May 25, 1985. She is the sixth submarine of the Ohio-class of SSBNs and the seventh U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. On Sept. 1, 1988, Alabama completed its ninth strategic deterrent patrol, which simultaneously marked the 100th deterrent patrol by a Trident submarine. Alabama has completed 96 strategic deterrence patrols in defense of the nation.

    For more news about USS Alabama and other Commander, Submarine Group 9 units, visit



    Date Taken: 09.08.2020
    Date Posted: 10.02.2020 11:58
    Story ID: 377623
    Location: SILVERDALE, WA, US 
    Hometown: MANCHESTER, NH, US

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