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    USS Alaska (SSBN 732) Gold Crew Changes Command

    USS Alaska (SSBN 732) Gold Crew Changes Command

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Saldana | KINGS BAY, Ga. (Oct. 29, 2021) Cmdr. Justin Hardy, incoming commanding officer of the...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Stuart Phillips 

    Commander, Submarine Group Ten

    KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) –The Gold crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alaska (SSBN 732) held a change of command onboard Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, Oct. 29.

    Cmdr. Justin Hardy relieved Cmdr. Adam Thomas as the Gold crew’s commanding officer in a ceremony held at the base chapel.

    Retired Capt. Mark Davis was the guest speaker at the change of command.

    “Adam, you’ve had an exceptional command tour, and I know your Dad, John, and your Stepmom, Carol, are bursting with pride today,” said Davis. “I take great pleasure in seeing your accomplishments, and I know that you will continue to serve our great submarine force. You earned your seat at the head of the table and you served with distinction.”

    Thomas, a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 2002 with a degree in nuclear engineering. He later earned a master’s degree in operations research with honors from the Naval Postgraduate School.

    “Admiral Richard, the combatant commander for U.S. Strategic Command who directs all of our nuclear forces, frequently talks about the 150,000 Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, Marines, and civil servants who comprise our nuclear deterrent and execute the most important mission in the department of defense,” said Thomas. “We, as USS Alaska – because there are about 150 of us – make up 1/1000th of that force. I’d like to think that over the past 2.5 years, we performed way more than 1/1000th of the mission.”

    Thomas praised his crew for their performance under his command.

    “We, as professional war fighters, operate the most powerful warship ever created in order to execute the most important mission in the department of defense. If nothing else, I hope everyone who’s served with me remembers that for the rest of your life, and looks back on it proudly. With the help of our families and friends sitting over here, what really makes us the most powerful warship ever created is the Sailors sitting over there. They’re the ones who take a simple idea – get the submarine underway, stay underway and undetected – and use their skills and knowledge to turn that idea into a reality. And we do that every day, and Alaska will keep winning without me here.”

    Under his command, Alaska executed the Department of Defense’s number one mission of nuclear deterrence, completing three strategic deterrent patrols. During this time, Alaska also conducted the first overseas crew exchange in Faslane, Scotland since the Cold War, and also executed operations in the Mediterranean with a highly visible port visit to Gibraltar. Additionally, Alaska was awarded the Squadron Twenty Battle Efficiency Award and the U.S. Strategic Command Omaha Trophy in 2019. Alaska also earned Retention Excellence Awards for developing and retaining Sailors while Thomas was in command.

    The incoming commanding officer, Hardy, takes command after serving as the Director of Nuclear Power School where he oversaw a staff of 200 and the training of 3,000 future nuclear officers and enlisted Sailors annually.

    Hardy directed his closing remarks to the family members of his new crew.

    “The world is more dangerous today than it has ever been in my lifetime and your loved ones have been placed in a position to assure peace is maintained. I will do my part to make sure they are ready for whatever challenges are placed in our way. However, we cannot be successful without your continued support and sacrifices. Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do in support your Sailor.”

    During the ceremony, Thomas was awarded the Legion of Merit for his performance as commanding officer.

    Alaska is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the state.

    For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 10, visit or



    Date Taken: 10.29.2021
    Date Posted: 10.29.2021 14:00
    Story ID: 408336
    Location: GA, US

    Web Views: 522
    Downloads: 0