Change of command on USS California

Groton — Cmdr. Dana Nelson turned over command of the USS California to Cmdr. Shawn Huey in a ceremony at the Submarine Force Library and Museum Feb. 1.

Capt. Mike Holland, the commander of Submarine Squadron 4 and guest speaker, praised Nelson for his accomplishments, especially delivering the California (SSN 781) to the Navy eight months ahead of schedule. The Virginia-class submarine also earned the 2011 Golden Anchor Award for exemplary retention.

"Cmdr. Nelson displayed superb leadership skills and unparalleled drive as commanding officer of the USS California and led his crew through new construction, sea trials, commissioning, change of homeport, and an 11-month Post Shakedown Availability," Holland said.

Nelson said leading the ship and crew during this period was one of the most rewarding experiences of his career.

"I am proud to have served with this amazing group of Americans and I look forward to reading about all their future successes," said Nelson, who will next serve at the Navy Installations Command.

Huey, who previously served on the staff at Submarine Forces Atlantic, said Nelson and the crew "provided the Navy with the most technologically advanced submarine in the fleet."

"I look forward to leading the crew on its first deployment," he said.

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