Lead Virginia attack submarine has new commander

A new commanding officer took charge of the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine, USS Virginia (SSN 774) during a change of command ceremony held aboard the submarine in its homeport, Naval Submarine Base New London Sept. 2.

Cmdr. Jeffrey Anderson became Virginia’s 6th commanding officer when he relieved Cmdr. Steven Antcliff of command of the first submarine in the Virginia class.

Under Antcliff’s leadership, Virginia and her crew completed a first-in-class long-maintenance period as well as two scheduled deployments and one surge deployment.

“The crew of this ship is a team, a family. We live and work together keeping this complex warship at sea. The challenges we face, seemingly insurmountable at times, are met with tenacity and teamwork,” said Antcliff. “The job of the captain is to mentor, train and lead this amazing team of hardworking professionals. These men and women, entrusted to him by the Navy are our nation’s greatest resource.”

After orders were read, Anderson took the podium and thanked commanding officers, fellow Sailors and patriots he served with in the past as well as his immediate and extended family.

Anderson closed his speech by addressing his new crew. “To the crew of the USS Virginia, I stand here honored to be your commanding officer and ready to serve you and our great nation. May God bless the Virginia and all who sail on her.”

Virginia is the first in her class of the technologically-advanced attack submarines. She was commissioned Oct. 23, 2004 and is the sixth U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name of the first English colony and the 10th American state.