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Whitescarver Assumes Command of USS Scranton

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS091005-09
Release Date: 10/5/2009 2:36:00 PM

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- A traditional change of command ceremony was held on board the USS Scranton (SSN 756), moored at Pier 3, Naval Station Norfolk Oct. 1.

Cmdr. Paul Whitescarver relieved Cmdr. Wesley Guinn today as commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine Scranton.

Commander, Submarine Squadron 6, Capt. Christopher B. Thomas, was the guest speaker.

"Today we undergo a formal process of turning over command, and it marks the conclusion of a very successful three-year tour as commanding officer for Cmdr. Guinn," said Thomas. "Command is a most challenging job, because in times of both war and peace our submarines are called into force. Two out of the last three years Scranton was deployed or preparing for deployment. Cmdr. Guinn created a great culture on board Scranton, and it is incredible testimony in keeping a ship in prime fighting condition."

Guinn, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., was presented the Legion of Merit by Thomas.

Despite the accolades, Guinn was humbled by his command tour.

"All of you have helped make Scranton successful, and in so doing, have made it much easier for me to enjoy my command tour," said Guinn, a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. "Command of a nuclear submarine has been my goal for my entire adult life. If I have had any positive role in the continued success of this fine ship, it is because I have been supported by many without whom, I could never have achieved this dream."

Guinn took command of USS Scranton September 29, 2006, and ensured the "Iron Horse" lived up to its motto, "On Time, On Track, On Target." During his 1,098 days in command the ship steamed 109,454 miles and spent 566 days away from their Norfolk homeport – 490 days of that at sea.

Guinn will transfer to Bahrain, where he will assume the duties as officer in charge of Commander Task Force 54 Detachment.

Cmdr. Whitescarver reports to Scranton after serving as the Nuclear Enlisted Program and Community manager for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program Office. He looks forward to the challenge of commanding Scranton.

"Setting foot on the Norfolk waterfront again, and as the commanding officer of Scranton is a dream come true," said Whitescarver. "Scranton just completed her tenth deployment, and we must prepare for the next. It is an awesome task to protect and serve."

Built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Scranton was commissioned January 26, 1991. The 360-foot submarine is named after the city of Scranton, Pa., and its crew compliment includes 16 officers and 118 enlisted Sailors.

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