USS Albany Holds Change of Command
06 January 2023
NORFOLK, Va. --
The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Albany (SSN 753) conducted a change of command at Naval Station Norfolk, Jan. 6.
Cmdr. Jonathan Padgett relieved Cmdr. Richard McCandless as commanding officer of Albany.
Rear Adm. Robert Gaucher, the ceremony’s guest speaker, praised McCandless for his time as Albany’s commanding officer.
“The truth is Richard is a consummate professional, and model submarine officer,” said Gaucher. “He has spent his tour making a good boat better and earned his success through leadership and development of his Sailors.”
Gaucher went on to highlight several of McCandless’ accomplishments while onboard Albany.
“Richard is a captain who engages his team personally, and who takes care of the person, not just the Sailor,” said Gaucher. “On deployment alone his crew earned 48 silver dolphins, 11 gold dolphins and had seven new additions to the boat’s chief mess. Richard is a captain who leaves an exceptional legacy in the Sailors of Albany and I am extremely proud of him for all he has accomplished.”
Gaucher continued on to welcome Padgett and offered words of advice as he assumed command of Albany.
“Jonathan, I know you have a rich operational background, serving as executive officer onboard USS Jefferson City and department head on USS Nebraska,” said Gaucher. “Harness that experience, rely on your gut, take deliberate risk when necessary, and be the captain. We look forward to seeing you succeed on Albany.”
Before handing over command of Albany, McCandless took time to thank his crew for their dedication and hard work.
“To my chief quarters, you are the backbone of the ship,” said McCandless. “To my crew at large, congratulations on being the 2022 commander, Submarine Squadron Six Battle “E” boat. You should take tremendous pride in this achievement. Enjoy this moment. You all have worked so hard and accomplished so much. It has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life to be your commanding officer. You are forever my shipmates.”
McCandless’ next assignment is as a battalion officer at the U.S. Naval Academy.
While assuming command, Padgett addressed the crew as the new commanding officer.
“To the crew of Albany, I am deeply humbled to be standing here today and I look forward to working with each and every one of you,” said Padgett. “As the premier submariners of the world, we have bonds deeply rooted in history and tradition, and a duty only we can fulfill. Our job and mission as dolphin-wearing brothers is to go into harm’s way undetected, with purpose and precision, and break our adversary’s will. Our nation relies on use to be ready to maintain freedom of the seas and fight and win wars. If and when that call is made, we will answer, Gentleman, we are Albany, and I am honored to be your captain.”
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.
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.