Bangor, WA – During a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor this morning, Cmdr. Eduardo Fernandez formally relieved Cmdr. Alan Holt, II as commanding officer of USS Kentucky’s (SSBN 737) Blue Crew. The Thoroughbred Sub Club would like to take this opportunity to thank Cmdr. Holt for his service while in command and to send him our best wishes for his continued success. At the same time, we would like to welcome Cmdr. Fernandez to the Kentucky family.

CDR Ed Fernandez, USN
Commanding Officer
USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) (BLUE)

CDR Fernandez, a native of El Paso, Texas, graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1990 with a Manufacturing Engineering degree. After receiving his commission through Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI he entered the Nuclear Propulsion Training pipeline and was assigned to the USS TOPEKA (SSN 754) as his first operational duty assignment. He was attached to USS TOPEKA from 1992 to 1995 serving as the Main Propulsion Assistant and Communications Officer making three deployments to the Western Pacific. The crew of the USS TOPEKA distinguished themselves in receiving the Meritorious Unit Commendation and being awarded the Battle ‘E’  for operational excellence by Commander, Submarine Squadron Eleven in 1993 and 1995.

In 1995, CDR Fernandez received a shore duty assignment as the Officer Programs Recruiter for the Oklahoma and Western Arkansas region. He recruited prospective officer candidates in support of engineering, aviation and surface warfare fields. His next operational assignment was as Navigator/Operations Officer on board USS PORTSMOUTH (SSN 707) where he served from 1998 to 2001. While assigned as Navigator/Operations Officer, PORTSMOUTH conducted extensive operations in the Southern California Operating Areas and completed a deployment to the Western Pacific. During his tenure, PORTSMOUTH distinguished herself in being awarded the COMSUBRON Eleven Navigation ‘N’ for navigation excellence and Communications ‘C’ for communications excellence.

From 2001 to 2003 CDR Fernandez served as Operations Officer for Commander, Submarine Squadron Eleven at SUBASE Point Loma, CA. His duties included coordinating all submarine waterspace in the Southern California Operating Areas and coordinating SUBASE Harbor Operations.

From 2003 to 2005 he served as Executive Officer on board USS HENRY M. JACKSON (SSBN 730) (BLUE) making two strategic deterrent patrols. During his tenure, JACKSON executed a crew combination and transition to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to conduct an Engineered Refueling Overhaul.

In November of 2006 he received a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

From January 2007 to March 2008, CDR Fernandez served as the Commanding Officer of Provincial Reconstruction Team, Sharana Afghanistan. PRT Sharana was charged with rebuilding the infrastructure of Paktika Province in remote eastern Afghanistan and establishing strong ties between the people of Paktika and the central government.

His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars, Army Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal with two Gold Stars and various service and unit awards. He is married to the former Karen Strickland of Hutchinson, Kansas and they have three children.

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