Published May 20. 2013 4:00AM
Groton — Capt. John McGrath turned over command of the USS Mississippi to Cmdr. Tory Swanson in a ceremony at the Naval Submarine Base on Friday, May 10.
Capt. William Merz, chief of staff to the commander of the submarine force and guest speaker, praised McGrath for his accomplishments during his command tour and welcomed the second commanding officer to take the helm of the Mississippi (SSN 782). McGrath was the first Virginia-class submarine commander to take his ship from the initial manning phase through commissioning and well into the post-shakedown availability, and he helped ensure the submarine was delivered to the fleet early.
Allison Stiller, a deputy assistant secretary of the Navy and the ship’s sponsor, said she was honored to attend the first change-of-command ceremony. McGrath led a crew of 142 officers and enlisted personnel for the past four years.
“As the first CO, I took my roles with the boat and crew very personally,” McGrath said. “It is difficult to let them go, but I will always be proud of our accomplishments here and I look forward to the boat’s continued success under Cmdr. Swanson.”
McGrath’s next assignment is at the U.S. Naval Academy. Swanson previously served at the U.S. Africa Command in Germany.
“Capt. McGrath and this crew have delivered an extremely capable piece of technology,” Swanson said, “and I look forward to taking the reins and exercising her on our first deployment.”