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Capt. Micah D. Maxwell, oncoming commanding officer of the blue crew of Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726), passes through ceremonial side boys at a change of command ceremony held on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Silverdale, Washington, Feb. 17, 2022. During the ceremony, Capt. Brian G. Freck passed the reins of the Ohio’s blue crew to Maxwell. Ohio is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, and is the first in her class of ballistic missile submarines and guided-missile submarines

SILVERDALE, Wash.

The blue crew of the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, Feb.17.

During the ceremony, Capt. Micah D. Maxwell, from Lemoore, California, relieved Capt. Brian G. Freck, from Vienna, Virginia, to assume the duties and responsibilities as Ohio's commanding officer.

Freck assumed command of USS Ohio’s Blue Crew in January 2020.

Rear Adm. Douglas Perry, director, Undersea Warfare Division, N97, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, served as the ceremony's guest speaker.

“SSGN command is one of the most challenging assignments in our Undersea Force, and for that we rightly commit that assignment to our seasoned O-6 submarine officers,” said Perry.

Under Freck’s leadership, the crew of Ohio deployed to the Western Pacific, completing a more than eight month operational period out of Guam. During that time, Freck and the crew successfully performed the highest visibility submarine mission conducted last year, contributing to the team earning the 2021 Submarine Squadron 19 Battle ‘E’ award.

“These success stories demonstrate that under Brian’s leadership, America’s oldest submarine contributed to keeping America safe and secure,” said Perry. “He did not do it alone; I know he would be the first to tell everyone. The crew is fully responsible for the ship’s success.”

Ohio is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, and is the first in her class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided-missile submarines (SSGNs). She was commissioned Nov. 11, 1981 and became the first of four Trident SSBNs to convert to SSGNs, completing its conversion Feb. 7, 2006.

Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, Ohio has the ability to conduct large-volume, short-notice strike missions and covertly deploy special operations forces.

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