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    Louisiana Crew Splits into Blue and Gold

    Louisiana Conducts Crew Split Ceremony

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Reynolds | 220805-N-ED185-1089 NAVAL BASE KITSAP – BREMERTON, Wash. (Aug. 5, 2022) Cmdr....... read more read more

    Story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian G. Reynolds, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs.

    NAVAL BASE KITSAP – BANGOR, Wash. (Aug. 5, 2022) The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) conducted a crew split and assumption of command at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS-IMF) Aug. 5, 2022.

    Cmdr. Michael Kessler assumed command of Louisiana (Blue) and Cmdr. Josh Veney assumed command of Louisiana (Gold).

    Louisiana arrived at PSNS-IMF Aug. 13, 2019, and entered dry dock Sept. 11, 2019, as part of an engineered refueling overhaul (ERO). During the shipyard period, Louisiana received many upgrades to include refueling its reactor, allowing it to remain operational for the duration of its projected 42 years of service.

    During the overhaul, both blue and gold crews were combined into a “green” crew to operate under a single chain of command. At the conclusion of the overhaul period, Louisiana once again split into blue and gold crews.

    “We are now at the point where the nature in which you operate the ship is different,” said Rear Adm. Mark Behning, commander, Submarine Group 9 and guest speaker at the ceremony. “We need two crews acting as one team for one ship conducting one mission. Don’t lose the fact that you are all one team”

    Kessler assumed command of the combined Louisiana (Green) in March and assumed command of Louisiana (Blue) at the ceremony.

    “The significance of today is absolutely about generating combat power for the nation and about recognizing all of the hard work that we have done together,” Kessler said. “I am proud to be a part of that team.”

    Assuming command of Louisiana (Gold), Veney’s crew will assume control of the submarine for the next few months.

    "To the Sailors of Louisiana, the team that makes it happen … I stand before you today not because of anything I have done, but because of the amazing Sailors and mentors who invested their time in shaping and training me,” Veney said. “As you look to your left and right, realize, no matter your rank, you can shape and guide each other. We build each other up, we help each other grow, and we succeed together. While we officially become two crews today, we remain one team, one family, united by a common purpose in a common fight."

    The Sailors of the combined crew stood together until Veney gave the order for the gold crew to relieve the watch.

    All Ohio-class submarines operate with a two-crew system. The crew is divided in order to maintain a deployment schedule that keeps the submarine at sea for a maximum amount of time, while sustaining quality of life for its crew and their families.

    In the following months, Louisiana will relocate to its permanent homeport of Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor, Washington.

    Louisiana is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. It is an undetectable launch platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles, providing the United States with its most survivable leg of its strategic deterrent forces.



    Date Taken: 08.05.2022
    Date Posted: 08.05.2022 18:13
    Story ID: 426681
    Location: US

    Web Views: 1,752
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