USS Alexandria changes command

U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) changed command during a ceremony held at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, April 15.

Cmdr. Todd Santala relieved Cmdr. Bret Grabbe as commanding officer.

Guest speaker Rear Adm. William Merz, commander, Submarine Group 7, praised Grabbe and his crew for their exceptional performance on their accomplishments together.

Following his remarks, Capt. Brian Davies, commander, Submarine Squadron 11, presented Grabbe with a Meritorious Service Medal (fourth award) for his exceptional performance as commanding officer from August 2013 to April 2016.

“I have been fortunate enough over my career to participate in every type of mission submarines do around the globe,” said Grabbe. “These opportunities allow me to work with some of America’s finest people. To the crew: you have lived up to high standards. You are reliable and full of integrity. You are my Sailors and my family. I hope to meet you again in the future.”


Grabbe is scheduled to report for duty to Commander, Submarine Squadron 12, Groton, Connecticut.
Santala, a native of Kalispell, Montana, earned a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Montana State University in 1998 and was commissioned in September from OCS.

His previous sea tours include USS Florida (SSN 728)(Blue), USS Miami (SSN 755), USS Texas (SSN 775) and USS Jacksonville (SSN 699).

USS Alexandria was commissioned June 29, 1991. Measuring more than 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Alexandria has a crew of approximately 140 Sailors. In 2015 the submarine changed its homeport when it switched from the New London submarine base in Groton to Naval Base Point Loma.

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