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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

USS Columbus Conducts Change of Command

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner
15 December 2022
Cmdr. Matthew Brouillard, commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762) renders a salute to sideways during a change of command ceremony at Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Va., Dec. 14.
SLIDESHOW | 5 images | USS Columbus Conducts Change of Command Cmdr. Matthew Brouillard, commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762) renders a salute to sideways during a change of command ceremony at Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Va., Dec. 14. During the ceremony, Brouillard relieved Cmdr. Jonathan Ahlstrom as commanding officer of Columbus.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762) conducted a change of command at Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Va., Dec. 14.

Cmdr. Matthew Brouillard relieved Cmdr. Jonathan Ahlstrom as commanding officer of Columbus.

Capt. Brian Hogan, commodore, Submarine Squadron Eight, highlighted some of the accomplishment’s Columbus and its crew achieved while under the command of Ahlstrom.

“Columbus has deployed over 70 percent of its crew across 18 different areas of operations,” said Hogan. “Columbus’ crew achieved the top score of readiness in the entire Atlantic fleet. The boat’s people center ranking, which measures a combination of retention, advancements and qualification attainment is among the best in the fleet. Columbus has performed well on every oversight section my staff has executed since we reestablished Submarine Squadron Eight in February.”

Hogan went on to personally thank Ahlstrom for his time as Columbus’ commanding officer and welcomed Brouillard as the boat’s new commanding officer.

“Commander Ahlstrom, I appreciate everything you have done to lead your crew to victories,” said Hogan. “You have done an absolute superb job in command and I congratulate you. For Commander Brouillard, I am very privileged to serve with you once more. I know you are familiar with this unique shipyard readiness challenge and I know you are going to bring a great deal of value to the crew.”

Retired Adm. James Foggo, and the ceremony’s guest speaker, spoke on Ahlstrom’s many accomplishments as well as his next assignment working on the recently signed AUKUS agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

“An Olmsted scholar, White House Fellow and a submarine commanding officer, Ahlstrom is a top one percenter in the nuclear Navy if you ask me,” said Foggo. “With all his education and background, what does one do with an officer with the caliber of Command Jonathan Ahlstrom? You give him another tough assignment. What better way to do this than to have him work on the AUKUS accords as next assignment.”

Foggo continued on to express confidence in Brouillard’s ability to lead Columbus and its crew as he prepares to take command.

“As for the future of USS Columbus, I have no worries,” said Foggo. “The boat will be in good hands under the command of Commander Matthew Brouillard. I have no doubt he will finish the boat’s overhaul and will get underway and get the ultimate prize of command-at-sea.”

Before relieving his command of Columbus, Ahlstrom took time to reflect on time spent with his crew and to thank family and friends for their support.

“For the past 36 months, I have served alongside some of the Navy’s most capable, talented and dedicated Sailors and I mean it when I say I would not change the time with you for the world,” said Ahlstrom. “What you do matters, I cannot be prouder of you all and I am honored to have served alongside you. I am only standing in front of you all today because of my family and friends. A strong network of friends and family keep you human, they help you balance, keep you humble, and make sure you take time to laugh, cry and be human.”

After assuming command, Brouillard thanked Ahlstrom for sharing knowledge of commanding Columbus and expressed his enthusiasm to tackle challenges alongside the boat’s crew.

“Let me be the first to congratulate Ahlstrom on his successful command tour,” said Brouillard. “Our time together has been extremely short, but despite of that, I have found great value in all the advice and wisdom you have shared with me. To the crew of Columbus, you should be proud of all your accomplishments mentioned here today and I look forward to sharing future challenges with you all.”

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.
 
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