14. November 2017 · Comments Off on PCU Colorado (SSN 788) Holds Change of Command · Categories: KeyEvent

It was a beautiful fall day in Groton on November 3rd, as CDR Reed Koepp relieved CDR Ken Franklin as Commanding Officer, PCU Colorado (SSN 788) in the Navy’s traditional ceremony at the Naval Submarine Base.

Commander Franklin is the first Commanding Officer of Colorado, having reported with the first major increment of the crew in the fall of 2014 when the boat was just parts. He has seen the boat all through construction, sea trials and delivery to the Navy. He and his wife Toni will move to Naples, Italy where Commander Franklin will report as Deputy Commander of Task Force 69, which is responsible for all US submarine operations in the Mediterranean. Commander Franklin is a native of Plant City, Florida.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1989 and was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning and, after graduation from Florida State University, was Commissioned in 1996. He has been selected for promotion to the rank of Captain.

Ship’s Sponsor, Annie Mabus was present at the ceremony and gave some heartfelt remarks. She praised Commander Franklin for his tour and for making her feel welcome as a part of the the  Colorado family. She welcomed fellow Mississippian Commander Koepp as the new Commanding Officer. The principal speaker at the ceremony was Captain John Tolliver, Deputy Director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs. Captain Tolliver has been a mentor to Commander Franklin for many years of his naval career.

In his remarks Commander Franklin thanked the crew for their hard work and dedication in building the boat from scratch and welcomed Commander Koepp and his wife, Aimee, to Colorado. For his tour aboard Colorado, Commander Franklin was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Commodore of Submarine Squadron 4, Captain Brian Sittlow.

After the ceremony the boat was open for visiting. A reception was held at the Officer’s Club on the base with a cake decorated with the Ship’s Crest. Commander Franklin described the story of the ship’s crest contest and how it was won by one of the officers now on board, Lieutenant Mike Nielsen.

Commander Koepp reports to Colorado from Executive Officer of Nuclear Power Training Unit, Charleston, South Carolina and is a graduate of Louisiana State University.

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