Naval Submarine Training Center, Pacific (NSTCP) held a change of command ceremony at the historic submarine piers of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Jan. 6.
Capt. Michael W. Martin, commanding officer of NSTCP, was relieved by Capt. Andrew C. Hertel during a ceremony held aboard the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Mississippi (SSN 782).
Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Rear Adm. Frederick “Fritz” Roegge was the guest speaker for the ceremony and praised Martin for his commitment to serving the crews of the Submarine Pacific Fleet and wished him luck at his next command, as the commanding officer of the Navy Element of U.S. Forces Korea.
"If submarines form the tip of the proverbial spear, then NSTCP keeps that spear sharp,” said Roegge. "The strength of this command is the quality of training, and the quality of training is due to the quality of our people.”
Roegge also welcomed Hertel back to Pearl Harbor and expressed his confidence in him as the new commander of NSTCP.
“Andy is no stranger to the challenges of the Pacific, as he comes to us from a challenging assignment as the director of the Commander’s Initiatives Group for Commander U.S. Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan,” said Roegge.
Roegge challenged Hertel to lead NSTCP to even greater success following the successful tour of Martin.
During the ceremony, Roegge presented Martin with a Legion of Merit Medal for exceptionally meritorious service while serving as NSTCP from August 2014 to January 2017.
Martin took the time to thank those in attendance as well as the men and women he’s led.
“This team is some of the best instructors I have had the privilege to work with,” said Martin. “I cannot recognize everyone individually, but every one of you has made a significant contribution and it has been an honor for me to be your commanding officer.”
Hertel addressed his new command for the first time and praised Martin on his success at NSTCP.
“All policies and guidance put in place under Captain Martin remain in effect,” said Hertel. “Mike, as stated multiple times today and several different ways, you clearly did a splendid job leading the team here. I seek to carry on your legacy as best I can.”
Hertel committed NSTCP to continue to help enable the Submarine Force to retain and expand the advantages it enjoys today.
“I pledge to you, NSTCP will provide you the best product we can to enable you to conduct your mission,” said Hertel. “We know your challenges and we will do everything in our power to help keep you ready to deter in peace and dominate in conflict.”
NSTCP was first established in January 1962 as Fleet Submarine Training Center. Today, it is comprised of approximately 120 permanently assigned officer, enlisted and civilian instructors, training more than 25,000 Sailors each year.
For more news from the Pacific Submarine Force, visit www.csp.navy.mil.