PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- A time-honored change of command ceremony was held today, July 31, 2014, for the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Houston (SSN 713) at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Cmdr. Paul Davis was relieved by Cmdr. Scott McGinnis as commanding officer of USS Houston.
Davis expressed how proud he is of having had the opportunity to be in command of the submarine and working with some amazing Sailors.
"It has been the highest honor to have served alongside you and sailed in the briny depths with you," said Davis. "Your tenacity, your perseverance and your skill has made this tour exceptional for me. In the face of insurmountable odds, you have refused to lose. You have steadfastly acknowledged that you won't be defeated and either found a solution or forged one. I am, and will always remain grateful for that."
In command for more than two years, Davis took his submarine and crew on a Western Pacific deployment conducting missions vital to national security, and fleet exercises supporting the fleet commander's operational and engagement strategy.
The ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Jeff Trussler, deputy director of maritime projects for Research and Development Support Activity, praised Davis for an amazing job in command.
"Well done Paul Davis and the crew of the mighty warship Houston!" said Trussler. "Paul has proven himself to be one of those great leaders. He has taken the toughest job the submarine force has to offer and done superbly."
During the ceremony, Davis was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his successes in command of Houston from February 2012 to July 2014.
As McGinnis assumed command of Houston, he thanked Davis for turning over a great ship and an even greater crew.
"I am honored by your presence here today and privileged to be USS Houston's commanding officer," said McGinnis. "To the Houston crew and families, I have been thoroughly impressed by your performance. There is no crew I would rather be leading into battle should the call come, and I cannot wait to put to sea with you, tackle out future challenges and accomplish the country's tasking together."
Houston is the fourth U.S. Navy vessel named in honor of the city of Houston, Texas. She is a Los Angeles-class submarine, 360 feet long and displacing 6,900 tons. She can be fitted with Mk-48 torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles.
The state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.