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USS Albany Holds Change of Command
03 November 2020
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. --
The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Albany (SSN 753) conducted a change of command at Naval Station Norfolk, Oct. 30.
Cmdr. Richard McCandless relieved Cmdr. Mathias Vorachek as commanding officer of Albany.
Capt. Jeffrey Juergens, commodore, Submarine Squadron 6, spoke on Vorachek’s performance during his time as the boat’s commanding officer.
“In nearly 30 months, Matt’s command of USS Albany has seen unmatched improvement,” Juergens said. “After spending nearly five years in shipyard, Matt built the crew from the ground up. Taking a crew who had very little at sea experience, Matt built a salty bunch and completed a six month EUCOM deployment, which was even more impressive under the restraints of COVID-19.”
Vorachek offered remarks to the crew of Albany as he reflected back on their time spent together.
"I could not be more honored to have been given the chance to lead you,” Vorachek said. “When I took command of Albany in July of 2018, we were on the verge of completing our overhaul which lasted for nearly five years. Three weeks after taking command, and with little to no at sea experience, but plenty of motivation, Albany went to sea to start her journey back to greatness. My officers and crew exceeded all expectations. With every task they were assigned, they rose to the occasion and succeeded.”
His next assignment is at U.S. 2nd Fleet Future Operations in Norfolk, Virginia.
While assuming command, McCandless said he is excited to lead the crew of Albany through equipment upgrades and future operations.
“I’m honored and excited for the challenge of command,” McCandless said. “Albany is scheduled to receive the latest upgrades to fire control, sonar, and electronic warfare systems, ensuring we will continue to be ready to defend the nation when called.”
McCandless commissioned as an ensign upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2002. Prior to assuming the role of Albany’s commanding officer, he served three previous tours on fast-attack submarines. He also served as an Electronic Warfare Officer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009, where he was attached to various Marine infantry and logistics battalions in the Al Anbar Province.
Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.
Albany, whose motto is "Still Making History," is the fifth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of New York's capital city. Built by Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, Albany was commissioned April 7, 1990, as the 43rd nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class submarine.
The Los Angeles-class submarine is 360 feet long and 33 feet wide, and weighs about 6,900 tons when submerged. Underwater, it can reach speeds in excess of 25 knots.
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