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Submariners: Adapting for the Future

“The good news for undersea forces is the significant role we’ll play in the submergence strategy. The assured access we have behind the adversaries’ defense lines is going to be an asymmetric advantage we’ll enjoy for decades to come.” REAR ADM. RICK BRECKENRIDGE, SUBMARINE GROUP TWO COMMANDER

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) — Groton-based submarine unit, Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 2 disestablished and consolidated their attack submarines during an official ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London’s Shepherd of the Sea chapel in Groton Jan. 13.

The disestablishment consolidates all COMSUBRON 2 assigned attack submarines under COMSUBRON 4 and Commander, Submarine Development Squadron (COMSUBDEVRON) 12. Under the consolidation USS Springfield (SSN 761) is assigned to COMSUBRON 4; USS Dallas (SSN 700), USS Providence (SSN 719), and USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) are assigned to COMSUBDEVRON 12.

“Our submarine force has a rich history of adaptability and today’s ceremony is indicative of the major turning point we are witnessing in our nation’s history,” said Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, commander, Submarine Group 2.

“This moment in our history is bigger than all of us combined who are gathered here today,” said Breckenridge. “Today serves as a major influx point for our undersea forces as we reflect on one of the greatest squadrons that spanned seven decades is disestablished.”

The rich history of Submarine Squadron 2 began in October 1945 when the squadron was established at Naval Submarine Base, New London, under the command of Capt. L. S. Parks. The squadron has overseen some of the first and last built in the Los Angeles class as well as the Navy’s only nuclear powered deep submersible research vessel, NR-1. The first nuclear powered submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN 571) was one of nearly 100 submarines assigned to the squadron in the 47 years since the squadron was established.

“The squadron has been referred to ‘The Armada’ since not too long after it was formed,” said Capt. Mike Holland, former commodore of COMSUBRON 2. “It seems this ‘nickname’ was used due to the wide variety of submarines and support ships that have made up the squadron throughout the decades,” said Holland.

The submarines first assigned to the squadron at the time of establishment comprised of the “Fleet Boats” Grouper (SS 214), Flying Fish (SS 229), Finback (SS 230), and Raton (SS 270), and diesel submarines Atule (SS 403), Quillback (SS 424), Sarda (SS 488) along with the support ship Chewink (ASR 3).

As a tribute to the squadron’s history, local artist Dan Price produced a painting depicting a submarine representing each decade of the squadron’s existence. Holland presented the painting to the Naval Submarine Library and Museum/Historic Ship Nautilus following the disestablishment.

“I have been painting for about 20 years and I have produced a few commissioning paintings for several boats,” said Price, a resident of East Lyme. “I’m very interested in naval history and a painting like this that spans 60 years was interesting to create.”

According to command history for COMSUBRON 2, the mission of the squadron was to provide operation, logistical, and maintenance support to ships and units assigned. The squadron’s goals included assisting assigned ships to develop and maintain warfighting readiness, thus providing the nation with assets to surge forward when necessary to defend the nation’s interests.

“This ceremony is a great opportunity to recognize the contribution the ships of Squadron 2 have made to the submarine force and our nation. In addition, we celebrate all the efforts made by the supporting commands and organizations in and around Subase New London. Submarining is truly a team effort, and we couldn’t have deployed all those submarines without their help,” said Holland.

During the disestablishment, Holland also assumed duties as COMSUBRON 4 relieving Capt. Mike Bernacchi. Bernacchi will assume the duties as chief of staff, Commander, Submarine Group 2.



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