JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – Cmdr. Chad Hardt assumed command of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) from Cmdr. Michael Beckette during a change of command ceremony held pierside on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Aug. 30.
During the ceremony Hardt praised Beckette for his successful tour and efficient turnover.
“Mike, you have handed over a remarkable ship and an exceptional crew,” said Hardt. “I am pleased to be able to succeed such an outstanding officer in command.”
Rear Adm. Thomas E. Ishee, deputy commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike, served as the guest speaker and recognized Beckette for his leadership and professionalism in his role as Tucson’s commanding officer.
“I believe that a ship’s crew takes on the character of its commanding officer,” said Ishee. “I can tell you from my personal experience, Mike Beckette has a unique balance of compassionate leadership, tactical skill, and engineering expertise. It’s no surprise to me that Tucson is one of the best-rounded boats in the fleet.”
During the ceremony, Capt. Robert Roncska, commander of Submarine Squadron Seven, presented Beckette with the Meritorious Service Medal for his service as commanding officer of Tucson from April 2014 through Aug. 2016.
Following his tour on Tucson, Beckette will report to Commander, Pacific Fleet, Nuclear Propulsion Examination Board in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Hardt, who served as current underseas operations officer for commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and deputy commander for readiness, Submarine Squadron One, said he is honored to assume command of the Tucson and looks forward to leading its crew.
“For the crew, you have continued to be one of the best ships on the waterfront” said Hardt. “I want you to know that I appreciate what you do every day. I look forward to leading you through the coming years and continuing the tradition of this great ship.”
Tucson is the second ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name of the Arizona city. It is the 59th Los Angeles-class attack submarine and the 20th of the improved Los Angeles-class attack submarine to be built. Twelve vertical-launch missile tubes for Tomahawk cruise missiles provide Tucson with great offensive capability. Retractable bow planes give the ship increased maneuverability and under ice surfacing potential.
For more news from the Pacific Submarine Force, visit www.csp.navy.mil.