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Thank you very much for the kind introduction.

Ladies and Gentlemen, honored guests, fellow Flag Officers good afternoon, and Aloha!

Thank you all for being here. We are honored that you are able to join us for this important event. Your presence is certainly a great tribute to Paul and Anne Sullivan and a fitting welcome to Jeff and Teri Cassias.

Today has truly been a memorable day for the Sullivans beginning with the wonderful retirement ceremony this morning. This is also a wonderful time of year; the boys of summer are back playing baseball-and we find ourselves here in Hawaii to celebrate this Change of Command.

As you review Paul Sullivan’s biography in your program he credits his grandfather Charles McCullough with giving him his love and hate of the Boston Red Sox. Well, this is the year-first championship since 1918.

This is a wonderful time of the year also for us few Oriole fans. We have about four weeks before mathematical elimination. Well today as we effect this change of command-the Orioles and the Red Sox meet for the first time this season and the first pitch was about fifteen minutes ago.

Shane and Megan, I assume that, like your parents, you are also Red Sox fans since that is generally an affliction passed down through the generations! So today hope soars from all of us-wanting; hoping to beat the dreaded Yankees in October.

Before I start, let me take a minute to thank the men and women of the PACFL T Band. Nothing sets the tone for an event like good music … and as usual, you guys sound great.

Also to our outstanding Color Guard who support events throughout the region and always give a positive impression of our men and women in uniform. Thank you very much for your support once again.

I am thrilled to be here and to speak to all of you today; and I am excited for a few reasons. First, I am always happy to get out of the office and spend some time here on the waterfront. Secondly, it is always an honor to participate in the long-standing Naval tradition of formally transferring the authority and responsibility of command from one Commander to another. And finally, it is a personal privilege for me to preside over a change of command ceremony between two men whom I hold in such high regard.

These two men have been stalwarts of the Submarine Force for decades and contributed greatly to our preeminence in undersea warfare … they both also happened to command USS BIRMINGHAM during their distinguished careers, and I just want to say what a privilege it is for me to share the stage with most likely the greatest CO USS BIRMINGHAM ever had … we’ll let them try to figure out who that is!

It was almost two years ago when I spoke at the ceremony where Admiral John Padgett turned command of the Pacific’s Submarine Force over to Admiral Paul Sullivan. Since then, with the help of our coalition partners we have delivered democracy to Afghanistan, put the Al Qaeda terror network on the run, and offered freedom to the people of lraq. It’s amazing how the world has changed in such a short time. Yet there remains much to be done in this Global War on Terror, and I assure you that our Pacific Submarine Force will be critical to our victory, just as they were in World War II and the Cold War.

The strength of our Submarine Force is also a critical stabilizer in the Western Pacific, and the vital nature of that role should not be understated considering the state of the world today. In this age of globalization, the prosperity of the world depends very much on the security of the Pacific … Paul Sullivan understands that perfectly, because as the Commander of the Pacific Submarine Force he has been a critical piece of that security for the last 20 months.

We don’t have the time to go into all of the accomplishments of SUBPAC under the leadership of Admiral Sullivan, but I’d like to touch upon some of the highlights.

For the past 20 months, through a very trying time in world history, Admiral Paul Sullivan has commanded the Pacific Submarine Force Task Force 134, and Task Force 12 … and he has done so superbly.

As Commander Task Force 134, he guided the Pacific SSBN Force to unprecedented success under some of the most demanding and dynamic operational circumstances in recent decades. The seven SSBNs under COMSUBPAC’s cognizance successfully completed twenty-six strategic deterrent patrols with nearly 100% system readiness.

This was accomplished while undergoing significant realignment in maintenance infrastructure; transferring two SSBNs to naval shipyards for conversion to SSGNs; transferring one SSBN to the Pacific from the Atlantic Fleet; and transferring one SSBN to the naval shipyard for refueling overhaul and backfit to Trident II missile capability.

Admiral Sullivan also oversaw the standup of the Pacific Missile range and successfully completed the first ever Trident II (D-5) launch in the Pacific as part of STRA TCOM’s Follow-on Commander’s Evaluation Test.

As Commander Task Force 12, he implemented sweeping changes in Anti-Submarine Warfare operations in the Pacific Fleet, including integrating the networked capabilities of ASW assets under the Theater Undersea Warfare Commander and providing Submarine Force support for the newly formed Fleet ASW Command.

During his exceptional tour as the SUBPAC Commander, RADM Sullivan oversaw the first ever-expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) and Advanced Seal Delivery System (ASDS) submarine deployments, ushering in a new era in submarine warfare.

During his exceptional tour as the SUBPAC Commander, RADM Sullivan oversaw the first ever-expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) and Advanced Seal Delivery System (ASDS) submarine deployments, ushering in a new era in submarine warfare.

Paul Sullivan has done everything he can to improve the Navy he serves in, but his efforts were not only focused on today, his vision has helped define our Submarine Force for tomorrow.

His legacy will be felt throughout the Pacific Fleet and indeed throughout our entire Navy.

Paul Sullivan has improved the lives of the Sailors who work for him and improved the Navy that he serves in … and in doing so he has earned the respect of all he has encountered here in the Pacific.

While Paul has been the one accountable for all of the programs and initiatives I have mentioned, he would be the first to tell you that the credit for these many successes belongs to the outstanding men and women who make up the Pacific Submarine Force-but leadership does matter and Paul you have excelled.

Earlier this year when USS SAN FRANCISCO suffered a traumatic grounding in the Western Pacific, we were all exceptionally fortunate to have had you at the helm of the Pacific Submarine Force.

You have proven to be a great warrior, leader, and diplomat throughout your tour as the Commander of the Pacific Submarine Force and indeed throughout your entire distinguished career.

By his side throughout that career was another outstanding leader who has done so much for our Navy family-Anne Sullivan.

Here in Hawaii, Anne has been a visible force in fostering friendship and cooperation between the community and Navy family members and her initiative in hosting a wide variety of spouse events has strengthened relations here in Hawaii and in fact throughout the Pacific. Her work particularly in the Submarine Community and in support of the Dolphin Scholarship Auction has been noteworthy.

If you know Anne, I think you realize that I could go on for quite awhile speaking about her many, many accomplishments. The Superior Public Service Award presented to her this morning was really only a small token of our appreciation considering her devotion over a lifetime.

Anne, Ginny and I would like to thank you for all that you did during this tour in support of our Sailors, their families and the local community … your efforts are genuinely appreciated.

Although this is officially a Change of Command, it is also a recognition of service. Throughout Paul’s career you have both been great shipmates to all who came in contact with you.

Paul and Anne -on behalf of the entire Pacific Fleet, thank you and congratulations on a job extremely well done

There are two men, two couples involved in today’s transition. And while we have the difficult task of bidding farewell to Paul and Anne Sullivan, we have the much easier job of welcoming Jeff and Teri Cassias back to Hawaii … and I’ll bet they feel like they got to Hawaii not a moment too soon.

Jeff, as pleased as you are to be here, we are equally pleased to have you back in the Pacific. You ‘re certainly no stranger to SUBPAC having served three tours here previously … so welcome back to paradise … Aloha.

Having commanded CTF-73 in Singapore and having served a significant portion of your career in the Pacific your knowledge of the region and the people involved will prove invaluable.

The Navy has done a smart thing, made a wise decision in utilizing your experience, background and training to lead SUBPAC into the future … and while the issues and challenges you’ll face as SUBPAC Commander will be large-the rewards will be even greater

I look forward to working with you, and I know that you are the right man to guide this command and community. There will be challenges in the future-perhaps great challenges-but I have the utmost confidence in your ability to lead the Pacific Submarine Force through it all.

Ladies and gentlemen thank you for being part of our proud Navy tradition. God Bless each of you, our Sailors and our families … and God Bless America.

Naval Submarine League

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