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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

USS New Hampshire Holds Change of Command

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner
20 January 2023
Capt. Bennett Christman, left, is relieved by Cmdr. Carl Jappert, right, during a change of command ceremony for the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) onboard Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Jan. 20.
SLIDESHOW | 5 images | USS New Hampshire Holds Change of Command Capt. Bennett Christman, left, is relieved by Cmdr. Carl Jappert, right, during a change of command ceremony for the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) onboard Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Jan. 20.
The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) conducted a change of command at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Jan. 20.

Cmdr. Carl Jappert relieved Capt. Bennett Christman as commanding officer of New Hampshire following the boat’s return from a successful six-month deployment.

Capt. Jason Pittman, commodore, Submarine Squadron Six, and the ceremony’s guest speaker, spoke highly on Christman’s time as New Hampshire’s commanding officer.

“Bennett, you should be extraordinarily proud of what you and your team have done,” said Pittman. “You have built a team and a culture that defines excellence and execution, and not only demands the best of themselves, but of others. You have trained, developed and led an exceptional team who has accomplished incredible feats. You have pushed everyone around you to be better and to strive for more.”

Pittman continued on to highlight Christman’s accomplishments while aboard New Hampshire.

“The performance of New Hampshire under Bennett’s command speaks for itself,” said Pittman. “New Hampshire received the 2020 Navigation ‘N’ award right out of the gate, the 2021 Squadron Six Battle ‘E’ award, the 2022 Weapons ‘W’ award, the 2022 Personnel ‘P’ award, the 2022 Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund award, and a  Navy Unit Commendation award for their first deployment.”

Pittman went on to welcome Jappert as the boat’s new commanding officer and offered words of advice.

“Carl, you have had an excellent career and you bring a wealth of experience to the New Hampshire team,” said Pittman. “You are taking command of a boat at peak readiness, but a boat coming home from deployment is also a boat undergoing change. Your steady hand and insightful vision will be essential as you go right back in to the workup cycle and prepare this boat and its crew for deployment. My advice to you is simple, you’re in command, so command.”

Before handing over command of New Hampshire, Christman took time to thank the crews’ families and the boat’s family readiness group.

“There are a handful of people who set aside their personal time and personal aspirations to support me in command,” said Christman. “First, I would like to thank the families in general. You have allowed the crew of New Hampshire to deploy, supporting them from afar while keeping the household running. In support of that, we have the best family readiness group I have ever seen. They genuinely care about families and they provide activities, inform and build morale among the spouses and families while we are away.”

Christman also took time to share his appreciation for the boat’s crew and their lasting legacy on New Hampshire.

“On New Hampshire, I have been fortunate enough to serve with the best our Nation has offer,” said Christman. “They are the real story of New Hampshire’s success. Long from now, we will forget the missions New Hampshire has accomplished and the repairs made, but we will never forget the boat’s true legacy and what I am most proud of, the Sailors of USS New Hampshire. In that crew are future commanding officers, chiefs of the boat, master chiefs and admirals. In the end, these words will never do justice to the depths of my appreciation for all who have helped me during my tour of command.”

After assuming command, Jappert addressed the crew for the first time as commanding officer.

“To the officers and crew of New Hampshire, I have personally observed your performance deployed, and I am humbled to join such an incredible team,” said Jappert. “You should all be proud of your accomplishments, and I am excited to see you continue to improve and excel. As you depart for a well-deserved standdown, please be safe and enjoy your time with friends and families.”

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 Virginia-class submarine is 377 feet long and 34 feet wide, and weighs about 7,900 tons when submerged. Underwater, it can reach speeds in excess of 25 knots.
 
 
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