TTF commander retires after 26 years

It was one day when the Old Farmer’s Almanac paid off.

When Navy Capt. Michael Mathews was trying to determine what the weather would be for Wednesday, Nov. 28, he recognized that Mother Nature usually doesn’t cooperate with outdoor events.

So Mathews opted to turn over command of the Trident Training Facility (TTF) at Subase Bangor to Capt. Howard Trost indoors at the Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport. It proved to be a smart decision, as snow flurries blanketed much of Kitsap County.

With the ceremony, Mathews retired from the Navy after 26 years of service.

“This is my last official act,” Mathews said. “This is a bittersweet day leaving a job after 38 months and a career of 26 years.”

Rear Adm. Charles Griffiths, commander of Submarine Group 9, presented Mathews with the Navy Legion of Merit for his work as TTF commander.

“I feel good about my experiences at Trident Training Facility,” Mathews said. “We made a lot of improvements and had a lot of successes in my 38 months there.”

Mathews said he was most proud of how many enlisted personnel earned college diplomas, and the community outreach programs TTF was involved with, during his term as commanding officer.

He and his family plan to remain in Kitsap County.

“We hope to gain some stability,” Mathews said. “We’ve moved around a lot and have a couple of girls that need some stability for once.”

Trost is a former commanding officer of the USS Ohio’s blue crew. Prior to taking command of TTF, he served as Submarine Group 9’s deputy chief of staff for readiness and training.

“We moved here in 1997 when the orcas were here,” said Trost, TTF’s 12th commander. “We love it here. It’s a great environment to raise our (four) kids.”

Trost has a unique perspective of his new position — he both took classes and served as an evaluator at Trident Training Facility.

“This is a great organization,” Trost said. “It’s one of the best training commands in the Navy.”

“I’m excited that he is taking over a great post and that he’ll be able to make it better,” Griffiths said.

The Trident Training Facility provides training for officers and enlisted sailors on operating and maintaining Trident submarines and their associated systems.

As the facility’s commander, Trost will oversee a staff of 32 officers, 315 enlisted sailors and 51 civilians, who teach 384 courses on everything from strategic weapons to firefighting.

During the past year, more than 27,000 students took classes at the facility, which certifies crews for deployment.

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