Published on October 27th, 2015 | by The Kitsap Scene0
Henry M. Jackson’s Blue Crew welcomes a new commanding officer
By Petty Officer 2nd Class Amanda Gray
KEYPORT, Wash. – The Blue crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730) conducted a change of command ceremony at the Naval Undersea Museum, Oct. 23.
Cmdr. John Frye, from San Diego, relieved Cmdr. Jon Moretty, from Portland, Oregon and assumed the duties and responsibilities of commanding officer for the Henry M. Jackson Blue crew.
“Jackson is the oldest operational ballistic-missile submarine in the Navy, and is the only SSBN named for an individual vice a state,” said Capt. Mark Schmall, Commodore, Submarine Squadron 17, the guest speaker for the event. “Due to the forward thinking and passion displayed by Senator Jackson and others in government, our nuclear ballistic-missile force came into being, and remains a critical part of ensuring our national defense to this day and into the future.”
Moretty assumed command of Henry M. Jackson’s Blue crew on May 8, 2013. During his leadership, the crew conducted four strategic deterrent patrols with 277 days at sea, completed three dry dock refits and multiple inspections. Seventy-six enlisted and eight officers also received their submarine warfare insignia “dolphins.”
“Although we are the silent service, I have supreme pride in our mission, pride in our ship and pride in you; knowing that you, Jackson warriors, are part of something bigger, something that is vitally important to our political leaders, our families and our fellow countrymen,” said Moretty.
As his final act as commanding officer, Moretty presented Electronics Technician 2nd Class Erik Ashcroft, from Jacksonville, Florida, his end of tour Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
“I did not expect that my departure would be an effort, nor that the time in command would pass as quickly as it did,” said Moretty. “But now it is my time to go and I know that I am leaving the defender of freedom, and the warriors that man her, in good hands with Cmdr. Frye at the helm.”
Frye comes to Henry M. Jackson from Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, where he served as the operations officer.
“For the crew of Jackson Blue, the defenders of freedom, I’m excited and proud to be your new commanding officer,” said Frye. “I look forward to earning the trust and confidence of every one of you.”
Henry M. Jackson recently celebrated 31 years since its commissioning. The submarine is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. She is the only U.S. Navy ship to be named after United States Senator Henry M. Jackson and the only Ohio-class submarine that is not named after a state.