GROTON, Conn. – The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Oregon (SSN 793) welcomed Cmdr. Lacy Lodmell, a native of Malta, Mont., as its new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony at the Flasher World War II Memorial in Groton, Conn. Nov. 20.
Oregon’s first commanding officer Cmdr. Daniel Patrick, a native of Taylor, Mich., has led the Virginia-class submarine through its initial construction phase at General Electric’s shipyard in Groton, Conn. since 2017.
“We’ve been there since day one when it was just five of us,” Patrick said of his tour. “They are warfighters to the heart and have truly built the Oregon trailblazer spirit onto the boat.”
Patrick praised his crew – that has since grown to 133 sailors – and expects the boat and crew will have a successful life at sea.
“I can’t wait to read about them, hear about them, and just see the wonderful things they’ll do on the mighty warship Oregon,” Patrick added. “You’ll be hearing about them for years.”
Capt. Andrew Miller, commander of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 4, presided over the occasion and said he was happy to be a part of the small, yet significant ceremony for the PCU Oregon.
“I’m really happy we could conduct a small ceremony while amidst the global pandemic to commemorate the significance of Cmdr. Patrick’s great tour as first commanding officer on board USS Oregon,” Miller said. “And what a great job he’s done setting the ship up for success as they transition into the last few months of the ship’s construction and really bring the ship to life.”
Incoming skipper Lodmell thanked Patrick for training the crew and said he looks forward to “working with Electric Boat and all of our partners here on the Groton waterfront.”
Lodmell, who will lead the crew through commissioning and eventually joining the fleet, said he was “excited and humbled” to serve as commanding officer for the well-trained Oregon crew
“I am looking forward to everything we do together as we complete construction and eventually get the ship ready for deployment,” Lodmell said.
PCU Oregon and crew operate under SUBRON 4, one of two SUBRONs based out of Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn. SUBRON 4’s mission is to man, train and equip Sailors assigned to fast attack submarines to ensure that they are combat ready and capable of taking the fight to the enemy. Its submarines are able to bring strength, agility, firepower and endurance to the battle space like no other platform in the U.S. Navy.