MANAMA, Bahrain (Apr. 8, 2021) –
Capt. Tim Poe, a bulwark of the submarine community, former commander of USS Santa Fe (SSN 763), and Commodore of not one, but two forward-deployed submarine squadrons, relinquished command of Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 21 today to Capt. Eric Rozek.
Poe a native of Patuxent River, Maryland, has served at least three Commander, Submarine Group (CSG) 7 admirals during his tours at two consecutive forward-deployed squadrons. As deputy commander for mission readiness and ultimately Commodore of CSS-15, he oversaw four Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines and dozens of rotational deployers that pulled into Guam. His efforts resulted in the highest operational readiness levels seen at CSS-15 in recent years.
He assumed command of CSS-21 in 2020, bringing to the 5th Fleet theater an intimate knowledge of the operational planning, sustainment and intelligence needs of our forward-deployed crews. It was no surprise that having finessed cross-community and allied relationship-building in Guam, he excelled in the dynamic and volatile U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, ensuring the U.S. Navy remained unchallenged in the undersea domain. For his service, Poe was awarded the Legion of Merit by Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.
“Tim excelled in the 5th Fleet battlespace in the face of peer competition at sea and a logistically challenging novel coronavirus pandemic,” said Rear Adm. Butch Dollaga, Commander, Submarine Group 7. “His proactive leadership, vision and mentorship set the conditions for success and left an indelible print on Submarine Squadron 21 and the NAVCENT Team. His legacy and innovative ideas will continue with those he trained and left behind.”
Poe credited his success to the CSS-21 cadre of dedicated warfighters; and a family support system stateside that made this tour’s challenges – from working across three time differences and being unaccompanied, to the global pandemic – more tolerable.
“It has been my honor to serve as CSS-21 commodore,” said Poe. “Submarines are our Navy’s most capable and survivable assets, and without a team well-versed in their employment, we could never be able to fulfill our national tasking or peacetime training opportunities with our allies and partners.”
Rozek, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, who previously served as Commanding Officer of USS Mississippi (SSN 782), Operations and Special Operations Officer at CSG7, and Deputy Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, said he looked forward to building on the accomplishments of his predecessor.
“I am extremely humbled to be following in the footsteps of such a talented and revered leader, and can only hope that as Commodore, I can guide and mentor this incredibly talented and dedicated staff to new triumphs as we continue to provide U.S. Central Command with ready, lethal forces,” said Rozek.
CSS-21 is responsible for bringing theater support to deployed units, allowing for better coordination in submarine operational, logistics, and maintenance support, and providing oversight on submarine training and exercises to support theater operations.
Commander, Submarine Group 7 directs submarine activities throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea: two forward-deployed submarine tenders USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), five surveillance towed array sensor system vessels and three oceanographic survey vessels when tasked for theater anti-submarine warfare operation and four attack submarines homeported in Guam.
Commander, Submarine Group 7 will advance the interests of the United States and the security of prosperity of the region by effectively employing forward deployed, combat capable forces across the full spectrum of undersea warfare. We will endeavor to prevent conflict but remain prepared to win decisively.