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    USS Wyoming’s Blue Crew Welcomes New CO

    USS Wyoming’s Blue Crew Welcomes New CO

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Ashley Berumen | KINGS BAY, Ga. (May 19, 2022) Cmdr. Steven Dykstra (left), incoming commanding officer...... read more read more



    Story by Chief Petty Officer Ashley Berumen 

    Commander, Submarine Group Ten

    KINGS BAY, Ga. (May. 19, 2022) – The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming (SSBN 742) (Blue) held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, May 19.

    Cmdr. Steven Dykstra relieved Cmdr. Ben Pollock as Wyoming’s Blue Crew commanding officer in a ceremony held at the base chapel.

    Capt. John Cage, commodore of Commander, Submarine Squadron 20, was the guest speaker and praised Pollock’s leadership during his tour.

    “Ben and his team have expertly executed our Department of Defense’s number one mission. I am grateful for your dedication, and I know you give most of the thanks and credit to your crew, but what you have accomplished over your command tour is really quite impressive,” said Cage.

    During the ceremony, Cage awarded Pollock with the Meritorious Service Medal for his service as commanding officer.

    “No captain or crew has carried out this tremendous responsibility better than the crew of USS Wyoming Blue as led by Ben Pollock,” said Cage. “He led the Blue Crew through one of the most arduous periods in an SSBN’s 42 year service life – the return to strategic service following a refueling overhaul.”

    Pollock, from Ithaca New York, graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. He received his commission through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.
    Pollock said the crew’s dedication led to continued success.

    “The more senior you become in the Navy, the more your success depends on the work of those who work for you.” said Pollock. “That has certainly been the case on Wyoming. When preparing for each progressive milestone, I often looked back to see you trained and ready to not just succeed, but to completely exceed all expectations. You have made Wyoming win.”

    Pollock took command of the ship’s Blue Crew July 2019. Under his command, the crew returned the ship to strategic service and completed a strategic deterrent patrol for the first time in four years.
    The Blue crew recently reached a historic milestone when they completed a ballistic-missile submarine “boomer” deterrent patrol with enlisted women as crew members.

    Pollock’s personal awards include: the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various campaign and unit awards. For his next assignment, Pollock will report to Branch Head of Strategic Deterrence Policy on the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations staff.

    Dykstra, from Whittier, California, graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in nuclear science, and earned his commissioning through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. He previously served as the Nuclear Logistics and Maintenance Branch Chief at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Kirtland Air Force Base.

    Addressing his crew for the first time, Dykstra said he looked forward to what is in store for Wyoming.
    “I am honored to serve onboard USS Wyoming and I am excited for the opportunities the future will provide,” said Dykstra.
    Dykstra’s personal awards include: Joint Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, three Battle Efficiency Awards, and various campaign and unit awards.

    Ballistic-missile submarines are designed specifically for stealth and the precise delivery of nuclear warheads. Wyoming is the fourth ship of its name. The ship arrived at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, July 26, 1996. The base is home to all east coast Ohio-class submarines.



    Date Taken: 05.19.2022
    Date Posted: 05.19.2022 13:54
    Story ID: 421081
    Location: KINGS BAY, GA, US 
    Hometown: ITHACA, NY, US
    Hometown: WHITTIER, CA, US

    Web Views: 457
    Downloads: 0