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    USS Maryland (Gold) Holds Change of Command

    USS Maryland (Gold) Change of Command

    Photo By Lt. Stuart Phillips | KINGS BAY, Ga., (April 22, 2021) Cmdr. Michael Paisant, outgoing commanding officer of...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Ashley Berumen 

    Commander, Submarine Group Ten

    The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Maryland (SSBN 738) held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, April 22.

    Cmdr. Henry Wicks relieved Cmdr. Michael Paisant as the commanding officer of the ship’s Gold Crew in a socially-distanced ceremony held at the base’s World War II memorial pavilion.

    Rear Adm. John Spencer, Commander, Submarine Group Ten was the guest speaker at the event and he lauded Paisant and USS Maryland Gold Crew’s role in continuing to meet the mission in spite of the unique challenges posed by a global pandemic.

    “Maryland, the ship, both Blue and Gold crews, played an outsized role early on in the pandemic to keep our ships operating,” said Spencer. “And how were they able to do that? Because of the Maryland crew and because of the leadership of Mike Paisant. Mike has had nothing but success during his command tour.”

    Spencer described how Maryland Gold has consistently ranked highly amongst the commands in Submarine Squadron 20 and across the submarine force in terms of people-centered metrics.

    “We also consider things like, how are your people doing? And Mike’s team has consistently ranked high with reenlistment rates, promotion rates … and retention,” Spencer explained.

    Paisant is a native of New Orleans and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in quantitative economics.
    He assumed command in June 2018 and credits three successful deployments to the hard work of the crew and commended their display of resiliency during a global pandemic.

    “We navigated over 28,000 nautical miles - that’s more than enough to circumnavigate the globe - completing three strategic patrols aboard the world’s most lethal warship,” he said to the crew. “On that third patrol, we navigated this new normal of wearing masks and adhering to social distancing, as much as you can aboard a submarine, while still remaining laser-focused on the mission. Maryland’s best days are in her future and I wish all of you continued success.”

    Wicks is a native of Livingston, MT and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. He graduated with honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in history.
    He assumes command after attending the U.S. Army War College where he received his master’s degree in national security studies.

    “I am honored and proud to join the Maryland team today,” said Wicks. “The work you have performed with Cmdr. Paisant in support of our nation’s strategic deterrence is incredible. The time, the sacrifice of you and your families ensures our friends, family and country remain free from the threat of Great Power war today and in the future. We are the insurance policy and our payment in blood, sweat and tears reaps incalculable dividends. I look forward to working with you and leading you in this no-fail mission. Thank you.”

    Maryland is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be named for the state, is one of five ballistic-missile submarines stationed at the base and is capable of carrying up to 20 submarine-launched ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.

    Paisant, a 2021 recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Award, will now serve as the Deputy Commander for Training at Commander, Submarine Squadron 16.

    Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is homeport to all East Coast Ohio-class submarines.

    For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 10, visit



    Date Taken: 04.22.2021
    Date Posted: 04.23.2021 06:12
    Story ID: 394516
    Location: KINGS BAY, GEORGIA, US

    Web Views: 2,066
    Downloads: 2