USS Pasadena Holds Change of Command
By MC2 Ronald Gutridge
COMSUBPAC Public Affairs
Release Date: 7/22/2011
(PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii) – Cmdr. Luis Molina relieved Cmdr. Andrew St. John as commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752) in a time honored change of command ceremony at the submarine piers at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Friday, July 22.
Guest speaker, Executive Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Integrations and Resources, Capt. Ronald Boxall praised St. John and his crew on their recent accomplishments on board Pasadena and on his naval career.
"I admired from afar the way USS Pasadena met the challenges of deployment," said Boxall. "And as you part command, you leave knowing that you did your duty and that you served your crew, your Navy, and your nation with honor."
St. John acknowledged that the majority of the submarine's success during his time as commanding officer could be attributed to the crew and their hard work efforts.
"Without the submariners of Pasadena, this ship would be nothing more than an impressive pile of metal," said St. John. "Sailors give a ship life and the crew has given this ship life. They have accomplished great things while conducting extensive operations well above the average, and that is how I describe my crew, well above average."
Following his remarks, St. John was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his exceptional performance as commanding officer from Feb. 2009 to July 2011.
In his closing remarks, Cmdr. St. John reflected on his time on Pasadena and at sea.
"It is hard to imagine 30 months have passed since I last stood up here taking command," said St. John. "It has been an amazing adventure that had it all, excitement, new places, new people and challenges."
As Cmdr. Molina assumed command of Pasadena, he addressed the crew about the future.
"To the officers and crew of Pasadena, I appreciate the support you have provided during my turnover process," said Molina. "This is a period of challenging transitions for us, not because we have a new commanding officer but also because we have a very dynamic schedule. The challenges will be daunting and at times will seem insurmountable, but I assure you that we will stick to our principals and our submarine core values."
Cmdr. St. John graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. He has also completed a Masters in National Security Studies from the National War College and has a Masters of Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
His sea tours include USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705), USS Alexandria (SSN 757), USS Bremerton (SSN 698), USS Charlotte (SSN 766) and USS Columbia (SSN 771). His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (seven awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and several unit and service awards.
His next assignment will be at Commander, Submarine Squadron 1 located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.