GROTON, Conn. – Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS San Juan (SSN 751), held a change of command ceremony aboard the historic ship USS Nautilus (SSN 571) at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Aug. 16.
Cmdr. Ravi Desai relieved Cmdr. Douglas Sattler during the time-honored ceremony.
Rear Adm. Michael Holland, director, Programming Division, N80, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, served as guest speaker during the ceremony.
“Commander Desai has led this team superbly,” said Holland. “He has taught the team the San Juan way.”
Desai was recognized during the ceremony for his ability to lead his crew and perform at optimal levels while deployed and during the ship’s maintenance overhaul. Desai closed his speech by thanking his crew.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve with each and every one of you,” said Desai. “You have inspired me with your dedication, your commitment and your patriotism.”
Desai will serve next as Deputy Commander, Submarine Squadron 12 in Groton.
Sattler thanked Desai for a smooth transition after assuming command of San Juan. “Your care for the San Juan Sailors and their families has been tremendous over the time we’ve spent together these past few weeks. Your leadership, dedication, and commitment to excellence are the foundation of San Juan’s continuing successes.”
When addressing the crew for the first time, Sattler said he looked forward to being part of San Juan’s tradition.
“Thank you for making me a part of the panther family. Your hard work, enthusiasm and perseverance are evident in all that you do, which only helps to solidify the reputation of the San Juan,” said Sattler. “It is a privilege to lead you, and I look forward to being part of San Juan’s continued success.”
Sattler graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a minor in computer science in 2000. He was commissioned in the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program in Pensacola, Fla. He also holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Grantham University.
His sea tours include serving as electrical officer, chemistry and radiological controls assistant, tactical systems officer and operations officer aboard USS Wyoming (SSBN 742). He also served as navigator and operations officer aboard USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705), and executive officer aboard USS North Carolina (SSN 777).
San Juan is the third ship of the U.S. Navy to be named after San Juan, Puerto Rico. The first San Juan (SP 1352) was acquired by the Navy from the San Juan Packing Company of Seattle, and used as a minesweeper and patrol boat during World War I. The second San Juan (CL 54) was an Atlanta-class anti-aircraft cruiser that served during World War II. When commissioned, San Juan (SSN 751) was the first of the "improved" Los Angeles-class submarines, capable of under-ice operations.
Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.