By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gretchen M. Albrecht, Commander, Submarine Group 9

BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) — USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) (Blue Crew) held a change of command ceremony at the Squadron Headquarters Building Pavilion on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor March 20.

Cmdr. Alan Holt II, commanding officer of Kentucky (Blue Crew), turned over his boat and crew to Cmdr. Eduardo Fernandez, a 1990 graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

“The best part about being commanding officer was being able to watch the crew excel day in and day out,” said Holt.

Since Holt, a 1988 graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and native of New Hampshire, took command in September 2006, the boat earned many awards including the Battle Efficiency Award for 2006, Engineering Efficiency Award for 2007 and 2008 and the Supply Efficiency Award for 2006 and 2007.

“I had numerous commanding officers and executive officers who have worked with me and helped mold me into the commanding officer I am today,” said Holt. “Their mentorship and the support from my family have been the key to my success.”

Capt. David Ratte, commander, Submarine Squadron 17, said Holt’s legacy would be that he was passionate about helping his men succeed.

“Commander Holt has very high standards, and he trained his men to meet those standards and succeed at a high level of performance,” said Ratte. “I am confident Commander Fernandez has the tools and crew to succeed in filling the big shoes Commander Holt has left him.”

Fernandez stated that becoming the commanding officer of such an outstanding boat and crew marked the pinnacle of his 19 year career.

“I am looking forward to working with the young men who have dedicated their lives defending this nation,” said Fernandez. “There is no higher honor than being able to lead them.”

Holt will transfer to Strategic Systems Programs in Washington.

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