USS Providence Conducts Changes of Command

by Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Pavlovich 

Commander, Submarine Group Nine

NAVAL BASE KITSAP-BANGOR, Washington. (Oct. 1, 2021) – Cmdr. William Howey relieved Cmdr. Mike McLaine as commanding officer of Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) Oct. 1, during a change of command ceremony held at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

McLaine led Providence through its last deployment and homeport shift from Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington to begin the ship’s decommissioning process after 36 years of exemplary naval service.

“I’ve come to realize that there are many great aspirations in life, but this one, command, seems unique in that you aspire to it for so long only to leave it seemingly so quickly to never return”, said McLaine. “So you really only get one shot at command at-sea and I cannot be more thankful that I got a chance to do it right here with each of you.”

The ship’s crew received gratitude for the accomplishments they shared with Cmdr. Mclaine, and farewelled from their departing Commanding Officer.

“As I said six weeks ago at the change of homeport ceremony I would choose no other group of Sailors to go into harm’s way with”, said MCLaine. “I’ll say this again, when people ask me what ship I was the Captain of, I’ll respond with ‘The best ship in the Navy: The Providence.”

Providence’s new Commanding Officer, Howey, expressed the honor he has in leading the ship’s crew through their final evolution, the decommissioning process.

“I am humbled by the awesome responsibility that comes with commanding a warship that has a great legacy unto itself, and the line of ships that bear the same name all the way back to John Paul Jones”, said Howey. “As the Commanding Officer of USS Providence, embarking on the final mission of our beloved warship, we will work together as a team and invest in maintenance planning, continue to hone our war fighting skills in preparation for returning to sea, and with humility and integrity take care of our ourselves, our shipmates and our ship.”

The Providence is the oldest fast-attack submarine in the U.S. Navy, commissioned July 27, 1985. Fast-attack submarines perform a broad set of missions that include anti-submarine and anti-surface-ship warfare to launching Tomahawk cruise missiles at land targets, delivering special operations forces and conducting surveillance on adversaries world-wide.