USS Columbus Hosts Chief of Naval Operations

USS Columbus Hosts Chief of Naval Operations

The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert visited the Los Angeles class attack submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762) as part of a two-day visit to Hawaii, Aug. 13.

While visiting Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Greenert attended a topside awards ceremony with the Columbus crew during which he pinned the Enlisted Submarine Warfare qualification on Yeoman 3rd Class Antonio Draughn and Fire Control Technician Seaman Parker Birchall.

“Reenlisting and recognizing Sailors is my favorite thing to do,” said Greenert.

In addition to their Submarine Warfare Qualification, or “dolphins,” Greenert awarded each with certificates, and a coin to recognize and commemorate their achievement.

Following the awards ceremony, Greenert talked to the crew and held a question and answer session where Sailors were able to hear from the Navy’s top officer on topics ranging from quality of life issues to matters of operational importance in the Asia-Pacific region.

“You’re my litmus test,” said Greenert. “When I look across the Navy, if the submarine force has a problem, then I have a bigger problem.”

A career submariner, Greenert lauded the Columbus crew and gave a nod to the submarine community and the “amazing mystique” it carries.

“The work you do is incredibly important,” he said. “You are a professional force and we depend upon you a great deal.”

Greenert added that America needs the Navy more than ever.

 “The Navy is more relevant than it has ever been,” said Greenert. “We will be counting on each and every one of you to get the job done.”

Following the event, both Draughn and Birchall expressed their gratitude that Greenert was able to share in this milestone day.

Press Release, August 15, 2013; Image: US Navy