Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda Gray, Commander, Submarine Group Nine Public Affairs
KEYPORT, Wash (NNS) – The Seawolf-class fast attack submarine USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony, Oct. 6.
Cmdr. Keith Floyd, from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, relieved Cmdr. Melvin Smith, from Long Island, New York, as commanding officer of Jimmy Carter during a ceremony held at the Keyport Undersea Museum.
“I embrace this moment,” said Smith. “I look forward to my future assignment with enthusiasm, and look back on this experience with pride and a huge sense of accomplishment. It is both bitter and sweet, but regardless of my thoughts, it is the end of my time as commanding officer of Jimmy Carter.”
During Smith’s command tour, which began May 29, 2015, Jimmy Carter completed two major deployments, spending over 450 days at sea. Under his leadership, the boat also completed multiple inspections and maintenance availabilities.
In addition, Jimmy Carter earned the Battle Efficiency Award, or Battle “E”, for 2016 and U.S. Submarine Forces Pacific Retention Excellence Award for 2015.
“To my crew, dang, it feels so good to have served with you guys,” said Smith. “You energized my days, overwhelmed my sense of pride, exceeded my every expectation, and you delivered the world, asking only for respect in return. You certainly earned that and so much more.”
Smith’s next assignment will be at Commander, Submarine Development (DEVRON) 5, where he will serve as the deputy for training.
“To the Jimmy Carter Sailors along with your families, I am grateful for how you welcomed me and my family into the Jimmy Carter family,” said Floyd. “I look forward to serving as your Captain and promise to give you my all as we execute our mission and pursue operational excellence in everything we do.”
Floyd reports to Jimmy Carter from Washington D.C., where he served as the special assistant to the deputy director for Officer Personnel and Policy at the Naval Reactors Headquarters.
USS Jimmy Carter is the last and most advanced of the Seawolf-class attack submarines and is currently homeported at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, Washington. The one-of-a-kind vessel has all the capabilities of a Seawolf-class submarine, plus a 100-foot-long, 2,500-ton hull extension known as the multi-mission platform to test new generations of weapons and support Navy SEAL (Sea, Air and Land forces) operations.