Submarine Squadron 15 Holds Change of Command Ceremony on Board USS Oklahoma City


Commander, Submarine Squadron 15 held a change of command ceremony at Polaris Point on board the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) March 13.

Capt. Scott Minium relieved Capt. John Russ as commander of the squadron.

Rear Adm. James F. Caldwell, Jr., Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, was the guest speaker and spoke on Russ’ diligence, tenacity and sense of ownership as commander of the submarine squadron.

“The success of the team depends on the leadership at the helm and the commitment of the team,” Caldwell said. “To the crews of our Guam submarines: Your mission cycle is demanding. It is unlike any other submarine homeport in our nation. I think of it as a proving ground for the best and most operationally focused submarines in our force.”

Following his remarks, Caldwell presented Russ with the Legion of Merit for impressive leadership of the Navy’s only forward-deployed submarine squadron. Russ oversaw 36 voyage repair periods for visiting submarines and managed four forward-deployed submarines that supported 13 U.S. 7th Fleet operations. Russ also oversaw three inter-fleet transfers and laid the groundwork for three more.

During his remarks, Russ expressed great satisfaction with CSS 15’s mission priorities of “war fighting first, operate forward and readiness.”

“I’ve been blessed with the best submarine skippers and crews in the fleet; they are motivated, talented and ingenious submarine warriors,” Russ said. “As our Navy’s only forward-deployed submarine squadron, operating at the tip of the spear in Guam is exactly what this amazing staff and our forward-deployed submarines and tenders do best.”

As Minium assumed command of CSS-15, he praised Russ for the squadron’s efforts in improving submarine operations in Guam.

“There is the towering legacy of the past, a strong pattern of success and improvement that started with the standing up of Squadron 15 in 2001,” Minium said. “Since then, each successive commodore and his staff have worked to improve submarine operations in Guam, and the benefits of their efforts have often reached far beyond the submarine force. Taking command of a successful organization is both humbling and daunting, and I’m sure I speak for every member of the squadron when I say the best we can do to honor your work is to add our own chapter to this fine legacy.”

Russ’ next assignment is chief of staff of Commander, Submarine Group 7.

CSS-15 provides maintenance, training, logistics and administration support for the submarines assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet.

Naval Today Staff , March 14, 2012;