Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High Praise for Outgoing Chief; Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina Led Sub Groups on Both Coasts

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High Praise for Outgoing Chief; Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina Led Sub Groups on Both Coasts

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON JACKSON

ST. MARYS - Rear Adm. Timothy Giardina was relieved of his command of Submarine Group 10 by Rear Adm. Barry Bruner on Friday at a ceremony at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.

The ceremony marked the return of a flag officer to Kings Bay for the first time since Submarine Group 10 at Kings Bay and Submarine Group Nine at Bangor, Wash., were combined under one command three years ago.

Vice Adm. John Donnelly, commander of Submarine Force Atlantic, praised Giardina for overseeing the Ohio-class submarine fleets on both coasts, saying sailors and boats under his command "are operating at a very high level."

"That does not happen without strong leadership," he said. "You all set the standard for the rest of the force to follow."

He credited the surrounding community and local quality of life for Kings Bay having an 88 percent retention rate for sailors - the highest rate in the Navy.

Prior to being relieved of his command, Giardina said the many duties he has had during his 30 years in the Navy gave him different perspectives that helped prepare him for the task of overseeing two submarine fleets 3,000 miles apart.

"I've had a chance to see submarine service from all angles," he said.

Flag officers are now assigned to the bases on both coasts because Ohio-class submarines no longer have a single mission as a deterrent to nuclear attack.

The ballistic missiles on four of the submarines were replaced by non-nuclear Tomahawk cruise missiles and the electronics replaced with modern, compact equipment to make room for a crew of 160 sailors and a team of Navy SEALs.

Two of the converted boats - the Georgia and Florida - are ported at Kings Bay. The boats are now performing clandestine missions along coastal areas worldwide.

Giardina said he sounds like "a boastful parent" when he talks about sailors under his command. …

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