Published on April 23rd, 2015 | by The Kitsap Scene


USS Pennsylvania (Gold) change of command

Cmdr. Andrew Clard, commanding officer of USS Pennsylvania (Gold) addresses the crew of the ship after taking command during a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kenneth G. Takada/Released)

By Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Takada

BANGOR, Wash. – Cmdr. Andrew J. Clark took command of USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) (Gold) from Cmdr. Tiger L. Pittman during a change of command ceremony at the Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor base chapel.

Pittman addressed the crew and reflected on his time aboard and moments with the crew.

“There’s a saying that goes, ‘take care of the crew and they will take care of the ship,’ I firmly believe that to be true,” said Pittman.

Pittman took the time to thank the Intermediate Maintenance Facility and Trident Training Facility for providing the maintenance to keep her mission-ready and for providing critical training to her crew to be able to perform the strategic deterrent mission.

He also thanked the Sailors under his command and credited them with his success.

“Thank you for your commitment, dedication, professionalism and above all, your remarkable and never-ending resilience,” said Pittman. “It has been one my greatest pleasures of my career to serve as your commanding officer.”

Under Pittman’s command, Pennsylvania completed a record breaking 140-day strategic deterrent patrol – the longest in history for a ballistic missile submarine.

Pittman had one last request for his crew. “One team,” he said, to which the crew replied, “one fight!”

After assuming command, Clark’s first words as commanding officer echoed his predecessor’s final ones.

Pittman’s next assignment will be as the deputy commander of Submarine Squadron 17, also based at Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor.

Pennsylvania’s mission is to prepare for and ultimately deter war. She is a key part of the strategic deterrent triad, which includes ballistic missile submarines, B-2 and B-52 bombers, and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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