KEYPORT, Wash. –
Crewmembers of the Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN-21) conducted a change of command in Keyport, Washington, May 4.
Cmdr. Jeffrey Fassbender, from St. Marys, Kansas, officially relieved Cmdr. Jeremy Johnston, from Crescent, Oklahoma, during the event held at the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum.
“It was my honor and pleasure to command one of the most formidable submarines ever created,” said Johnston. “The crew and officers of Seawolf are a lethal, combat-ready team prepared to answer the nation’s call.”
Under Johnston’s command, the ship was awarded the Battle Effectiveness Award (Battle “E”) in 2020. He led the crew through an extended dry-dock availability, to extend the life of the submarine. The crew also executed a successful 2020 European command deployment, an Arctic transit, a North Atlantic deployment, and completed high-interest theater missions in 3rd Fleet.
“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and a month-long extension in their deployment, they ensured the ship remained COVID free and in excellent material condition,” said Capt. Lincoln Reifsteck, commodore of Submarine Development Squadron Five, reading a letter from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday. “By their expertise, professionalism, and unfailing devotion to duty, the officers and Sailors of Seawolf reflect a credit on themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. naval service.”
Seawolf is the lead ship of the Seawolf-class fast-attack submarines and is currently homeported at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor. The ship employs advanced sensors, improved combat systems, and the capability to rapidly deploy to combat threats from submarines, surface ships, and land targets.