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Farewell Drennan, welcome aboard Giardina
By RACHEL BRANT
Rear Adm. Frank Drennan bid farewell to the Navys Trident submarine fleet Thursday morning.
Drennan, departing commander of Submarine Group Trident, handed over the submarine fleet to Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina during Thursday mornings change of command ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Drennan is moving to San Diego to assume command of the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command.
Drennan assumed command of Bangors Submarine Group 9 in June 2005 and took on additional duties as commander of Submarine Group 10, based in Kings Bay, Ga., in January 2006. He later spearheaded the drive to combine both submarine groups to form Submarine Group Trident in June.
Now, Trident submarines on both the East and West coasts operate in the exact same manner and it was all thanks to Drennans hard work, according to Rear Adm. Joseph Walsh, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force, who came in from Hawaii for Thursdays ceremony.
Frank really has been the driving force behind the success of Submarine Group Trident, Walsh said. Through the force of Franks personality, he made it happen.
Drennan also played a large role in converting four Trident submarines: the USS Ohio, USS Michigan, USS Florida and USS Georgia. The nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines will be turned into nuclear-powered guided missile submarines. The USS Ohio recently left on its maiden voyage as a guided missile submarine.
During Thursdays ceremony, Drennan praised Navy Region Northwest and his commanding officers and sailors for their dedication and hard work.
There is no doubt that my squadron commanders are the most talented in the force and the reason I sleep soundly at night, he said. Certainly, from my perspective, I could not have had a better team.
Drennan also thanked his wife, Anne, for her continued love and support.
I have gotten comfortable as being referred to as Annes husband, Drennan said with a smile.
Giardina said he is honored and proud to continue his naval career and assume command of Submarine Group Trident. He most recently headed Information, Plans and Security at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C. and was the first officer to earn qualification gold dolphins on a Trident submarine, the USS Ohio. He also commanded Submarine Squadron 17 and the USS Kentucky Gold Crew.
Giardina said he knows he has big shoes to fill, but he is up for the challenge.
Its obvious its going to be a tough act to follow, Giardina said.
Although Drennan is sad to leave Naval Base Kitsap, he told the crowd of sailors and civilians that he hopes to see each and every one of them in the future.
Id rather say See you down the road, Drennan said. Its my burning wish that our paths will cross down the road.