GROTON, Conn. - Naval Submarine Support Center (NSSC) New London (NLON) held a change of command ceremony aboard the historic ship USS Nautilus (SSN 571) at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Sept. 20.
Cmdr. Shawn William relieved Cmdr. Brian Nowak as NSSC NLON commanding officer.
During the ceremony, a message sent from Vice Adm. Charles Richard, Commander, Submarine Forces, was read in which he praised Nowak for his effective leadership.
The message read: During your tenure, you consistently delivered outstanding warfighting readiness and support to 22 submarines and four major commanders from Groton, Connecticut to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. You skillfully led a team of 154 Sailors and six civilians, providing exceptional support for supply, medical, legal and administration that enhanced operational readiness of all Groton submarines. Your dedicated efforts were instrumental in keeping our North East Region Warfighters ready to meet all operational objectives. Well done!
After welcoming distinguished guests, and highlighting the early history of the submarine force, Nowak addressed the crew of NSSC.
“I never imagined a better tour than this one to culminate my Navy career,” said Nowak. “After serving three years here, I have come to appreciate the command, life and work in a novel way.”
As Nowak finished his speech to the crew, he added how proud he was of the team’s accomplishments. “There is no way for me to vocalize everything that you have done, and how proud I am to have been a member of this team.”
Nowak welcomed William before reading his orders. “I couldn’t think of a better officer to turn NSSC over to,” said Nowak. “I’m positive your time at Submarine Squadron Eleven prepared you well.”
During the ceremony, Nowak was recognized for effectively managing a 42 million dollar repair budget, and more than 45 million dollar operating budget that supported submarine operations, maintenance and repair for homeported submarines. His dedicated mentorship improved leadership throughout the submarine base, and he was a key component in Groton’s embedded Mental Health Program. His leadership resulted in a diverse staff with greater efficiency and improved support to submarines.
Nowak will serve next as deputy commander, Submarine Squadron Four in Groton.
When it was William’s turn to speak, he thanked Nowak for a seamless transition, and praised him for his service at NSSC.
“Congratulations on your extremely successful tour,” said William.” You have transformed NSSC over the past three years, and I know the staff is ready for every challenge that we may encounter.”
As he closed his speech, William addressing his new command. “The importance of your role in supporting submarines from Groton to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard cannot be underestimated. It is because of your hard work and sacrifice that these submarines can get underway and execute their mission,” said William. “People are the Navy’s greatest asset. I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to be your commanding officer.”
William is a native of Brush, Colorado; he enlisted in the Navy in 1994. Following nuclear power training school, he was selected for the Nuclear Enlisted Commissioning Program. He attended Oregon State University where he graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering. He holds master’s degrees from Old Dominion University in Engineering Management, and Naval Post Graduate School in Leadership and Human Resources Development.
NSSC NLON’s mission is to ensure assigned personnel, staff and submarines achieve and maintain a level of training, personnel and material readiness to carry out their assigned missions. It provides focused personal and professional growth opportunities by encouraging, developing and sharing innovative ideas and new concepts on how to most effectively and efficiently train, maintain and employ submarines now and in the future.
NSSC NLON provides centralized assistance to the two submarine squadrons and their assigned submarines in: administration, personnel management, operations, supply readiness, force protection, weapons, medical readiness, personnel, security, legal, religious programs, embedded mental health and critical maintenance monitoring.