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Submarine Squadron EIGHT

Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) EIGHT is one of seven squadrons of submarines with home ports on the US East Coast. SUBRON EIGHT exercises operational control over its fast attack submarines, a function which encompasses responsibility for tactical and operational readiness for war, inspection and monitoring, nuclear and radiological safety, and development and control of submarine operating schedules.

Approximately 18 people are assigned to the squadron staff at any given time, and nearly all assignments are for two or three year periods. The squadron staff is organized to operate efficiently in this environment and accomplish the squadron's mission. The staff is divided into functional departments, and each member is assigned a staff code. The departments are Command (8N00), Administration (8N10), Operations (8N30), Material (8N40), Combat Systems (8N42), and Communications (8N60). Naval reserve unit COMSUBRON DET 1106 augments the staff in the event of recall and provides peacetime contributory support to the squadron.

Submarine Squadron EIGHT was originally commissioned in 1942 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It decommissioned in December 1969 and recommissioned in August 1979 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Capt. Clarence E. Carter relieved Capt. Robert M. Hennegan as Commodore, Submarine Squadron 8 in a ceremony at Pier 3, Naval Station Norfolk, aboard USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) Oct. 17 , 2005.

Rear Adm. Mark W. Kenny, Commander, Submarine Group 2, was the guest speaker at the change of command ceremony. Kenny noted the strengths of both men as one moves on to a new position, while the other returns to a familiar homeport. "We have been blessed to have a leader of Bob Hennegan's caliber to lead, manage and transition Submarine Squadron 8 into the future," Kenny said. "Bob has worked as a leader and a mentor, not only for the staff's of Squadron 8 and Squadron 6, but he also inspired all the Sailors on the waterfront."

"Stepping into Bob's 'big shoes' is Capt. Earl Carter," Kenny continued. "Earl, I know that it won't be difficult for you to fill those shoes. I have every confidence that you are well prepared for the tasks ahead. "The future of Squadron 8 is in your capable hands," he concluded. "Lead them forward."

As he assumed command of Submarine Squadron 8, Carter reflected on the mission for the men of today's submarine force. "Our Commander-in-Chief forewarned us some 49 months ago that the war that began on Sept. 11, 2001 would be a long one, and would require the collective resolve of every American," Carter said. "Each of us that calls ourselves submariners, and these billion dollar warships under our charge, has a very special role in fulfilling that tasking. The need for our presence, and our service, has never been greater," he added. "I am confident we are up to the challenge and look forward to leading our collective efforts in this fight."

Carter, a native of Birmingham, Ala., has a bachelor of engineering degree in civil engineering and mathematics from the University of Vanderbilt and a master of science degree in public administration from Central Michigan University. He has served as executive officer aboard USS Florida (SSBN 728)(Gold) and commanding officer, USS Scranton (SSN 756).

Hennegan, a native of New London, Conn. and second-generation submariner, is a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He assumed command of Submarine Squadron 8 in July 2004. For Hennegan, the bright spot during his tour as commodore was leading the thousands of Sailors in the submarines and attached to Squadron 8.

Hennegan said that Sailors serving on submarines today represent a diverse cross section of socio-economic, racial and cultural backgrounds. Together, they are dedicated, well trained and ready to serve our country. "Take this incredible source of talent and dedication, combine it with the tremendous leadership that our officers and chiefs provide," Hennegan continued, "demand some very high standards and challenge the team to meet them, and the product is one heck of a very cohesive and extremely tight warfighting team."

Recently, Hennegan was "dual-hatted" as he assumed command of Submarine Squadron 6 for three months. During that time, he ensured the operational and material readiness of the 16 submarines based out of Norfolk, Va. His next duty assignment is on the staff of the Secretary of Defense, Washington. "I am very proud to have been part of this team here at Squadron 8," Hennegan added, "and to have been associated with such a great group of young Americans."




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