NEWS | Sept. 9, 2021

USS Maine Gold Crew Conducts Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Emilia Hilliard, Commander, Submarine Group Nine

KEYPORT, Wash. -- Cmdr. Robert Garis was relieved by Cmdr. Travis Wood as the Commanding Officer of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) Gold crew during a change of command ceremony at Naval Undersea Museum Keyport, Washington Sept. 9.

“No other military service entrusts so vital a mission to a single officer the way the Navy entrusts our SSBN commanding officers,” said Capt. John Cage, commander, Submarine Squadron 20. “And no captain or crew has carried out this tremendous responsibility better than the Gold crew of USS Maine as led by Rob Garis. He led the Gold crew through one of the most arduous periods in an SSBN’s 42-year service life – the return to strategic service following a refueling overhaul.”

Garis assumed command of USS Maine's Gold Crew in December 2018.

“To the crew of the Maine, you exceeded my expectations,” said Garis. “You overcame obstacles and kept moving forward at every turn. Your hard work, dedication, and commitment to each other are why Maine is the great warship she is today.”

Wood previously served as director, Nuclear Field and Submarine Accessions, Navy recruiting Command.

“To the officers and crew of the Maine, Cmdr. Garis did an amazing job molding this ship to be a lethal fighting force,” said Wood. “I strive to follow in his footsteps. I’ll only make one promise and that’s that I will give you my best every day. I only ask in return that you give me yours.”

Maine last year celebrated 25 years since its commissioning. The submarine is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. It is the 3rd U.S. Navy ship to bear the name and the 16th Ohio-class submarine.