USS Ohio (Gold) Welcomes New Commanding Officer


Guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) (Gold) welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony the Naval Undersea Museum March 9.

Capt. Rodney Mills relieved Capt. Dixon Hicks.

The ceremony came just three days after Ohio, with its Blue Crew aboard, returned to the Pacific Northwest following a 14-month forward deployment to Guam.

It was a rewarding and exciting third command tour,” said Hicks, who previously commanded the fast-attack submarines USS Topeka (SSN 754) and USS Portsmouth (SSN 707). “The crew I led accomplished a myriad of tasks and excelled at every mission.”

Hicks, the Gold Crew’s commander since February 2010, guided Ohio through three operational periods during the boat’s most recent forward deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. He also oversaw Ohio’s third major maintenance period since its conversion to a guided-missile submarine.

Hicks’ next assignment will be on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, Submarine Warfare Division, as the branch head for platforms, payloads and budget.

Mills, a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, comes to Ohio (Gold) from the staff of the Director of Naval Reactors, where he served as special assistant for personnel policy and training. He previously served as Gold Crew executive officer of the ballistic missile submarine USS West Virginia (SSBN 736) and commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Boise (SSN 764).

Ohio-class guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with an unprecedented combination of strike and special operation mission capability within a stealthy, clandestine platform. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, SSGNs are capable of directly supporting dozens of special operation forces.

Ohio and its sister SSGN, USS Michigan (SSGN 727), are homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and forward deployed to Guam.

Naval Today Staff , March 15, 2012;