By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray, Commander, Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs
KEYPORT, Wash (NNS) – Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5 (DEVRON 5), held a combined change of command and squadron establishment ceremony at Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Sept. 26.
Capt. Stephen Mack, from Silver Spring, Maryland, relieved Capt. Robert Gaucher, from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as commodore during the ceremony held at Barb Hall.
In addition to welcoming a new commodore, the Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron (UUVRON) 1 was established, with Cmdr. Scott Smith, from Hartford, South Dakota, becoming its new commanding officer.
“It’s very important to note that today is not only a very important day for Capt. Steve Mack and me, but it is a historical day for the Navy, Submarine Force and DEVRON 5,” said Gaucher. “Today we are transitioning our UUV Detachment into the first UUV Squadron. Why is this historical? It’s because in standing up UUVRON 1, it shows our Navy’s commitment to the future of unmanned systems and undersea combat.”
Gaucher assumed command of DEVRON 5 March 23, 2016. During his leadership, Gaucher supported the development and launched the Navy’s first Unmanned Undersea Vehicle squadron, oversaw the successful deployments of the Seawolf-class fast attack submarines USS Connecticut (SSN 22) and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), and provided Immediate Superior in Charge-level oversight of all three Seawolf-class submarines during major shipyard maintenance periods.
“I have truly enjoyed this tour and hate to turn over the reins, but if you read Steve Mack’s biography, you’ll see he has an exceptional resume and I know that he’ll do great as commodore,” said Gaucher. “To the team of DEVRON 5, it has been an honor to be your commodore.”
Gaucher’s next assignment will be in Norfolk, Virginia, where he will serve as the Chief of Staff for Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic.
“We have a strong group of devoted leaders in our commanding officers, officers-in-charge, and staff here on the DEVRON 5 team,” said Mack. “I am excited to be here serving with you and will endeavor to do my best every day to mentor, motivate, lead, drive, and work with you best to achieve your full personal and professional potential while we strive to reach our team goals in support of the submarine force and our great nation.”
Mack comes to DEVRON 5 from U.S. Pacific Command, where he served with the current operations division.
DEVRON 5 is charged with multiple submarine warfare mission areas to include submarine rescue operations and the activities of its three Seawolf-Class submarines. DEVRON 5 is responsible for developing and testing new submarine warfare capabilities, including the use of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles.