Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda Gray, Commander, Submarine Group Nine Public Affairs
The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) conducted a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, May 12.
Cmdr. Carl Trask, from Glendora, California, properly relieved Cmdr. Brian Taddiken, from Tacoma, Washington, as commanding officer of Connecticut during the ceremony.
“When I look at this crew, and I see all that they have done, I see the greatness that is America,” said Taddiken. “I see a strength that is born from shared ideals and a shared commitment to each other. And it is this shared commitment that makes this crew unstoppable. Thank you for all that you have done, thank you for everything you’ve endured, that you for your service, your strength, your sacrifice. Thank you for supporting me, and bringing this ship back to life.”
Under Taddiken’s leadership, the crew completed a 54-month depot modernization period, which was immediately followed by an Eastern Pacific deployment only three weeks after leaving the shipyard. The command earned the Retention Excellence Award, two years in a row, and had the lowest unplanned loss rate in the entire Submarine force. In 2016, the ship was awarded the Engineering Readiness Red “E”. They also received the Personnel Readiness White “P”, which is an award that the ship would not normally be eligible for because they were in the shipyard.
“My friends, no one, not in my current situation, can appreciate my bittersweet feelings as I depart,” said Taddiken. “To this ship and the kindness of her crew, I owe everything. Without your support, I could not have succeeded. With that support, I could not fail. I bid you an affectionate farewell.”
Trask comes to Connecticut from Omaha, Nebraska, where he served as the branch chief for Ballistic Missile Requirements and Resources for United States Strategic Command.
“To the family and crew of Connecticut, I am humbled to be your captain,” said Trask. “You have worked hard and sacrificed much to get the boat out of the shipyard and to sea. More challenges are ahead of us as we prepare for deployment. We must remember our mission: be ready to fight now, be bold, and project power wherever called upon.”
Connecticut, commissioned December 11, 1998, is the second of the Navy’s three Seawolf-class submarines, all of which are homeported in the Pacific Northwest.
Originally intended as a class of 29 submarines, the end of the Cold War and budget constraints led to a restructuring of the class to three submarines. The Seawolf-class is significantly quieter than any Los Angeles-class submarine, faster, has more torpedoes tubes, and can carry more weapons — up to 50 torpedoes or missiles, or 100 mines.