By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) held a change of command ceremony today, May 15, as Cmdr. Patrick Friedman was relieved by Cmdr. David Edgerton as commanding officer, at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park.
Friedman expressed his appreciation in working with outstanding Sailors while having command of the submarine.
"My hat is off to you; you are truly professionals and represent the very best in our force," said Friedman. "Being here today is a testament to your commitment to hard work and the ideological principles that form the basis of Columbia's success."
During his more than two years in command, Friedman successfully led a Western Pacific deployment during which the submarine's crew earned a 2014 Battle Efficiency "E" award. Friedman commanded his submarine through a technologically advanced tactical development exercise, subsequently earning Columbia the highest possible grade on an operational reactor safeguards exam.
The ceremony's guest speaker, Capt. Leonard Dollaga, commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12, praised Friedman for a job well done.
"Patrick, on behalf of all your shipmates, thanks for everything you have done," said Dollaga. "Mission accomplished, Patrick!"
During the ceremony, Friedman was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, recognizing his success while in command of Columbia from October 2012 to May 2015.
As Edgerton assumed command of Columbia, he thanked Friedman for turning over an accomplished crew and boat.
"You have set a high bar for Columbia and I assure you that we will continue to maintain the high standards that you have established," said Edgerton. "To the crew of Columbia, you are the best and brightest in the Navy and I am honored to be your commanding officer. I look forward to serving with you as we continue Columbia's proud tradition as the defender of freedom on the seas."
USS Columbia, commissioned in 1995, was the last Los Angeles-class submarine to be built at Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. One of the most versatile ships in the world, the submarine is capable of executing numerous dynamic mission functions including long-range Tomahawk strike capabilities, anti-submarine and surface ship tracking operations, surveillance and intelligence gathering, and special operations force insertions.