PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) – Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (NSTCP) held a change of command ceremony at Parche Memorial on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 4, 2019.
Capt. Andrew Hertel, commanding officer of Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific, was relieved by Capt. Lance Thompson, after more than 30 months in command.
Rear Adm. Blake L. Converse, commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, the guest speaker for the ceremony, commended Hertel on an outstanding command tour and leaving NSTCP in excellent condition.
"I don’t think anyone would argue that NSTCP is certainly the most capable, productive and innovative training facility in the Force,” said Converse. “Under your leadership, NSTCP continued to deliver the highest quality tactical, operational and engineering training to our submarine crews to enable me to deploy safe, combat-capable crews for deployments across the globe.”
Converse noted NSTCP’s importance to the Pacific Submarine Force including U.S. allies.
“NSTCP actively develops and cultivates strong relationships with our allies by providing training resources and support to our submarine warfighting partners from Japan, Australia, and South Korea,” said Converse. “Thank you for your remarkable work that enables our submarine force to do such remarkable peacetime operations and, when called upon, to execute high-end combat operations and win at sea.”
Converse welcomed Thompson to his new assignment and expressed confidence that he would excel in the position as the commanding officer of NSTCP.
“You understand the importance of fostering innovation and developing a competitive atmosphere that spurs rapid improvement,” said Converse. “You are the right man to lead this motivated training team.”
During the ceremony, Converse presented Hertel with a Legion of Merit Medal for exceptionally meritorious service while serving as commanding officer of NSTCP from January 2017 to June 2019.
Hertel took the time to thank those in attendance as well as the men and women he has led.
“The quality of the people I got to work with every day was eye-watering,” said Hertel. “ The average crew member at NSTCP was competing for Sailor of the year on his ship.”
Hertel concluded his remarks by citing former president Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena remarks and crediting all the crews of the fast-attack submarines in the Pacific Submarine Force for their relentless mission execution.
“We have all been that proverbial ‘doer of deeds’ and now it is our role to be the maligned critic, and observe those men and women who are in the arena today,” said Hertel. “These crews who will go forward, strive valiantly, spending themselves for a worthy cause and they will be the key in ensuring our Navy knows triumph in the end.”
Thompson, addressing the audience crew for the first time as commanding officer, praised Hertel on his success at NSTCP and stated his eagerness to work with his new staff.
“Andy, congratulations on a fantastic tour,” said Thompson. “I am excited to work with such a talented staff to continue making a difference by training Pacific Fleet submarines in Pearl Harbor and Guam.”
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.