story & photos
by Jessica Warzeniak
Captain Richard “Rick” P. Breckenridge turned over command of Submarine Squadron 4 to Captain Robert Clark II, in a Change of Command ceremony at 2:00 p.m., June 27, at USS Virginia (SSN 774) pier side at the Naval Submarine Base New London. The Change of Command ceremony is a time-honored tradition which formally signifies to officers and personnel the continuity of authority of the command.
“I am proud and fortunate to serve in a profession where our navy is second to none and our submarines are the most advanced,” said Capt. Breckenridge. During his tour as commodore, Submarine Squadron 4 became the Virginia Class “Center of Excellence” and assisted in the deployment and interfleet transfer of USS Seawolf (SSN 21) and USS Connecticut (SSN 22). Capt. Breckenridge will next serve on the staff for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
“One thing remands constant, over the last 200 years this great nation was formed from sweat and blood,” said Capt. Clark. “No matter how many things change – freedom is never free.” Capt. Clark previously served as Executive Officer aboard USS Grayling (SSN 646) and USS Hampton (SSN 767) and as Commanding Officer aboard USS Connecticut. A native of West Chester, PA, Capt. Clark graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1984 and is a 2007 inductee into the West Chester East High School Hall of Fame.
Rear Admiral Bruce E. Grooms, commander, Submarine Group 2, gave the introductory remarks. The guest speaker was Rear Admiral Cecil Haney, director, Submarine Warfare Division.