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The blue crew of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony, Aug. 9.
Cmdr. James Lembo, from Mesa, Arizona, relieved Cmdr. Jason Geddes, from Indianapolis, during the ceremony at Deterrent Park.
“To my crew, my warriors, I want you to know that to me you are not just my crew; you have also been like my second family,” said Geddes. “You were the stars in this story. Your hard work and dedication throughout these four years did not go unnoticed. I recognized it every single day. You never let me down. Never. Your pride in the ship and our crew runs deep, but even deeper are the successes and accolades that await you if you continue your amazing efforts.”
Geddes assumed command of a combined Nebraska green crew Oct. 18, 2014. During his extended commanding officer tour, the boat completed a 41-month engineered refueling overhaul (ERO) to extend the life of the submarine for another 20 years. He led the combined crew for two years until the crew split in 2016. As blue crew commanding officer, the crew successfully launched two Trident II D5 missiles off the coast of San Diego during demonstration and shakedown operations (DASO), and completed the boat’s first strategic patrol since 2013. The crew also earned Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Awards for the past three years.
Geddes’ next duty station will be Groton, Connecticut, where he will serve as the deputy for Submarine Squadron 4.
“I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Commander Lembo, and I am more than confident that he is just the right guy for the job and will take this crew and the ship to achieve great success in the years to come,” said Geddes. “I wish you the best on your journey.”
Lembo comes to Nebraska blue from the Israeli National Defense College.
“To the Nebraska crew, thank you to you and your families for your service and sacrifice,” said Lembo. “We are privileged to be among the thousands of Sailors who have sailed on her and have been safeguarding our freedom and way of life since she entered strategic service in 1993. We have the awesome responsibility of continuing Nebraska’s legacy of excellence, and I know we are up to the task.”
Nebraska is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, providing the most survivable leg of the nation’s strategic deterrent forces.
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray, Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs