Photo courtesy Lt. Lauren Spaziano, U.S. Navy

Rear Adm. James Waters III, director of Maritime Headquarters for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, congratulates Cmdr. Thomas O’Donnell, a Mystic native, on a job well done during a change of command ceremony aboard Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723). Oklahoma City is one of four Guam-homeported submarines assigned to SUBRON 15.

"Thomas ensured his team was ready for the gauntlet," said Waters. "In fact, no crew was more ready than Oklahoma City at the time they deployed, providing an essential link in a long unbroken chain bringing American influence and combat power to the Western Pacific."

Waters presented ODonnell with a Meritorious Service Medal for his tenure as commanding officer.

As ODonnell took the podium for the last time, he addressed the crew of the Oklahoma City.

"Thank you for believing in yourselves and the ship over the last two and a half years and for allowing me to stand at the helm of your great warship," said ODonnell. "I am proud to have watched so many of you embody the command visions tenants of know your job, do your job, and train yourself out of a job."

O'Donnell is scheduled to report to commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet as his next command, where he will serve as the prospective commanding officer instructor.

(U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lauren Spaziano/Released)

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