090807-N-8119A-072 BANGOR, Wash. (Aug. 7, 2009) Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell, Jr., left, takes command from Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina, and reports to Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny, commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, during the Submarine Group 9 change of command ceremony. The ceremony was held on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Giardina, who was promoted to Rear Adm. upper half just 30 minutes before the ceremony, will report as Director, Readiness and Training to U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gretchen M. Albrecht/Released)

Courtesy Navy NewsStand. (note: Rear Adm. Giardina was a USS Kentucky (Gold) CO)

By Lt. Kellie Randall, Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs

BANGOR, WA (NNS) — Commander, Submarine Group 9 conducted a change command during a ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap Aug. 7.

Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina transferred command to Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell Jr.

Giardina, a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, supervised numerous events as commander including all west coast fleet ballistic missile submarines achieving 100 percent weapons, navigation and communication readiness while on patrol; the submarine force celebration of the 1,000th Ohio-class SSBN strategic deterrent patrol; and the conversion and successful first patrol of USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and USS Michigan (SSGN 727).

Prior to turning over command, Giardina addressed his staff and those in attendance.

“It has been a truly wonderful and professionally rewarding experience.”

“I have been extremely fortunate to have a group of smart, energetic and motivated professionals working for me for the last 21 months,” said Giardina.

Vice Adm. John Donnelly, commander, Submarine Force, presided over the ceremony and spoke of Giardina’s vast leadership qualities.

“Command of Submarine Group Nine, with all of the submarines and component commands, is a big job,” said Donnelly. “It is one that requires a strong leader with energy, vision, warfighting expertise and, above all else, the leadership skills to inspire our submariners and those who support them.”

After being awarded the Legion of Merit for exemplary command of Submarine Group 9, Giardina followed in the change of command tradition by reading his orders to Sailors and guests. Caldwell then followed by reading his orders, and Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny, commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet received the report of relief from Caldwell marking the official change of command.

Caldwell, an Idaho native, said he was looking forward to working with the local military and community leaders.

“Admiral Giardina leaves a force that is in great shape, and with the help of a large supporting cast, I intend to build on what he has done and make that force even better,” said Caldwell.

Giardina will report to U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. as director, Readiness and Training.

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