JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, Hawaii (NNS) -- Command of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) was passed today, Oct. 6, as Cmdr. Brian Tothero was relieved by Cmdr. Micah Maxwell during a time-honored ceremony at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Tothero expressed how proud he was of having the opportunity to be in command of the submarine and working with the outstanding crew.
"It is with greatest pride that I have this opportunity to say how honored I am to have served with this country's finest examples of young men," said Tothero. "Like all the other submarine Sailors on the Pearl Harbor waterfront, these men represent our country well."
While in command, Tothero led his submarine through the completion of a 17-month shipyard availability, then through the transition back to at-sea operations including exercises like Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014, three submarine command courses, and numerous other tactical development exercises and training events.
"I am proud to say that throughout all of these events, the one constant has been the resolve and grit of the crew," said Tothero.
The ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Harry Ganteaume, director of training, tactical development, doctrine and knowledge management for the Pacific Submarine Force, praised Tothero for his leadership while in command.
"Brian has positively influenced many of our future leaders," said Ganteaume. "Including an XO (executive officer) who screened for command at sea, two department heads who screened for executive officer, several high performing division officers, many of whom will return to serve as department heads in our submarines, the commissioning of three limited duty officers and the promotion of five Sailors to chief petty officers."
During the ceremony, Tothero was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his performance on board Buffalo from February 2013 to October 2015.
As Maxwell assumed command, he thanked Tothero for turning over a very capable ship and addressed the crew.
"I stand here today ready to embark on a great adventure with you, protecting our families and our nation," said Maxwell. "Together, we will learn much about ourselves and each other as we carry on the long tradition of excellence in submarine service."
Buffalo is the third United States Ship to bear the proud name of Buffalo. She is the 25th nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine of the Los Angeles-class design.