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NEWS | Oct. 5, 2020

Submarine Squadron 1 Conducts Change of Command

By Courtesy Story, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 1 held a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Oct. 5.

Capt. Wesley Bringham, from Blum, Texas, was relieved by Capt. Melvin Smith, from Brentwood, New York.

Under Bringham’s leadership, CSS-1 prepared six submarines for highly successful Western Pacific and Central Command deployments. His team advanced the capabilities of Virginia-class submarines, including readying the first Virginia-class boats assigned to the Pacific for dry-dock shelter and manned lockout trunk operations, and developed expeditionary use of the Virginia-class lockout trunks for submarine special operating forces contingency operations. He also supervised training during four Japanese submarine visits, fostering stronger partnerships.

“The crews of our CSS-1 submarines and my staff are a partnership, all working toward the same goal of deploying combat ready submarines on time,” said Bringham. “My staff is filled with superstars, and we have made great strides in preparing eight submarines for every milestone event. It has been a pleasure commanding commanders, and each Squadron One commanding officer is at the top of his game, leading their respective warships to excellence. Each is dedicated to ensuring every member of their crew is performing at their theoretical limits and ready for combat. This is not possible without the love and support of our families. Our families are a critical part of our team. I understand your sacrifices when your Sailors go forward, and I will be forever grateful for what you do for our country.”

Bringham’s next assignment will be at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., where he will serve on the staff of the Joint Staff Operations Directorate.

“Squadron 1 has recently passed some major milestones,” said Bringham. “Commissioned in Groton, Connecticut in May 1941, the squadron eventually transferred to Pearl Harbor on Oct. 1, 1945 and has been here ever since – 75 years! Over 100 submarines later, the squadron continues to do the country’s business. Number one since 1941! Being on the staff of CSS-1 is like being part of the 1927 Yankees, the 1977 Cowboys, or the nationally famous 1939 National Championship Texas Aggie Football Team. It is a true privilege to work with the best of the best. My staff understands that when we make those around us successful, we all will be successful, and they consistently make our boats the best on the waterfront.”

Smith comes to CSS-1 from the Pentagon, where he served as the division chief, responsible for Nuclear Policy and Strategic Deterrence, on the Joint Staff Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate.

“In the spirit and sentiment that JFK espoused so long ago, with ‘ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,’ I’m asking each of you to lean in with your service,” said Smith. “In return, I promise my all in supporting you, doing my best to lead you, and living up to the high expectations that are appropriate for you to levy upon me. I, with my staff, will relentlessly work to give each ship all it needs to succeed and marshal all at our disposal to ensure the home front is supported. We are in this together, bound by our collective understanding of what it means, what is demanded, and what must be sacrificed, to be a submariner. So in that immutable spirit of togetherness, let us begin!”

For more news from the Pacific Submarine Force, visit