The U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Guam (NBG), Jan. 22.
Cmdr. Jeremy A. Pelstring relieved Capt. Paul R. Pampuro, assuming command of the warship that recently changed homeport from Pearl Harbor to Guam in Dec. 2017.
Guest speaker Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, offered words of wisdom to the Pelstring and praised Pampuro for his leadership while in command of Asheville. He also thanked the crew and their families for their continued sacrifice and loyal devotion to duty.
“Only the most talented and capable are picked to take command of a submarine and the western pacific that Asheville will sail in requires just that caliber of officers and crew. Much of the U.S. and the world’s attention are focused on the Pacific, you will need to be at the top of your game each and every day, you’re out here, and I am extremely confident that you are up to that task,” said Sawyer.
Before turning over command, Pampuro reflected on his tour in command of Asheville and highlighted several members of his crew, reflecting on the humble yet devote service of his Sailors, ranging from a Machinist Mate Weapons 3rd Class Shane Stewart, leading petty officer of torpedo division to Chief of the Boat, Culinary Specialist Master Chief, Simeon Yeboah.
“Whenever I can I advertise that most divisions on Asheville do not have Sailors from prior subs. I point to the torpedomen who are run by their leading petty officer, TM3 Stewart. EM2 Broussard, MM2 Buelin, MM2 Cepeda, and RM2 Davis all LPOs all expertly running their divisions.” said Pamuro.
He added “Master Chief’s vast Guam experience and his very calm demeanor were perfect. It got us through the end of our yard period and our flawless change of home port.”
Following his remarks, Capt. David Schappert, Commander, Submarine Squadron 15, presented Pampuro with the Meritorious Service Medal.
Pelstring officially assumed the title and responsibilities as Asheville’s commanding officer, after orders were read and salutes rendered.
Pelstring served as future operations officer for Commander, Carrier Strike Group Two, from January 2015 to December 2016. Previous tours include USS Michigan (SSBN 727 Blue), USS Helena (SSN 725), USS Montpelier (SSN 765), Navy Nuclear Power Training Command, and Submarine Forces Atlantic.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jamica Johnson USS Asheville