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    USS Pennsylvania Gold Crew Changes Command

    USS Pennsylvania Gold Crew Changes Command

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Andrea Perez | SILVERDALE, Wash. (Oct. 26, 2020) - Cmdr. Michael Charnota, from Acton, Massachusetts,...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Andrea Perez 

    Commander, Submarine Group Nine

    SILVERDALE, Wash. (Oct. 26, 2020) - The gold crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) conducted a change of command, Oct. 26.

    Cmdr. Michael Charnota, from Acton, Massachusetts, relieved Cmdr. Roger Ferguson, from Epsom, United Kingdom, to assume the duties and responsibilities as Pennsylvania gold’s commanding officer.

    Advisor for Refits and Maintenance Capt. Joseph Turk, Commander, Submarine Group 9, spoke fondly of his time working with Ferguson and of Ferguson’s accomplishments as Pennsylvania gold’s commanding officer.

    “Roger, your legacy as a commanding officer will endure long past your time on board. As you depart your Sailors, you’ve mentored and trained them to aspire and achieve promotions and advancements, qualify for command, and chief of the boat and engineering department master chiefs,” said Turk. “Roger, you served our nation with honor and the Pennsylvania gold crew with honor, courage and commitment. You and your crew delivered every time the county asked. Congratulations and a job well done, shipmate.”

    During his time as commanding officer, Ferguson lead Pennsylvania gold through four strategic deterrent patrols, four pre-deployment training periods, a dry-docking refit and an unprecedented 10-day transition from dry-dock to sea. Ensuring the crew’s welfare was a top priority, Ferguson’s advocacy of career development resulted in Pennsylvania’s receipt of the retention excellence award three years in a row.

    “I’d like to convey my personal thanks and gratitude for the incredible hard work, selfless dedication and extraordinary accomplishments of our crew,” said Ferguson. “This is hard work. The standards are high. It’s demanding. It’s relentless, but we always focus on doing the right thing, and that’s why it’s such a privilege to command one of these ships… and I am very grateful for everything it has forced me to change about myself, so I could rise to every challenge along the way.”

    Charnota comes to Pennsylvania from Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia.

    “As I take command of Pennsylvania Gold today, I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and it’s really an honor,” said Charnota. “Roger, congratulations on a successful command tour and turning over a great ship and a great crew. Know that taking command of a talented group of Sailors is the honor of a lifetime. Let’s get to work!”

    Pennsylvania was commissioned in Groton, Connecticut, Sept. 9, 1989. She is the 10th submarine of the Ohio-class of SSBNs and the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Pennsylvania spent the first 13 years of her service life based at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, before shifting her homeport to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, in October 2002.

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



    Date Taken: 10.26.2020
    Date Posted: 10.26.2020 17:00
    Story ID: 381775
    Location: SILVERDALE, WA, US 
    Hometown: EPSOM, SRY, GB
    Hometown: ACTON, MA, US

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