Vienna resident takes command of ballistic-missile submarine

U.S. Navy Capt. Brian Freck, right, from Vienna, relieves Capt. Andy Kimsey, left, from Kalamazoo, Mich., as commanding officer during a change of command ceremony for the blue crew of the USS Ohio (SSGN 726), onboard Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Washington, on Jan. 21, 2021. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrea Perez)

U.S. Navy Capt. Brian Freck of Vienna recently assumed duties as commanding officer of the guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) during a change-of-command ceremony onboard Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bangor, Washington, on Jan. 21.

Freck relieved Capt. Andy Kimsey, from Kalamazoo, Mich., to assume the duties and responsibilities as Ohio’s commanding officer. Rear Adm. Doug Perry, Commander, Submarine Group 9, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker.

Freck comes to Ohio from Submarine Squadron 19, where he served as deputy commodore.

“There is one adage that has been true since the first ship went to sea – a ship is nothing without a skilled, trained and motivated crew to man her,” he said. “So, as important as the ship is to our nation, she is nothing without the crew to bring her to life and take her to sea. You – the talented men and women of the crew of the Ohio – are the real national treasure, and I am thankful, humbled and blessed to be a part of the Ohio team.”

Ohio is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, and is the first in her class of ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided-missile submarines (SSGNs). She was commissioned Nov. 11, 1981, and became the first of four Trident SSBNs to convert to SSGNs, completing its conversion Feb. 7, 2006.

Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, Ohio has the ability to conduct large-volume, short-notice strike missions and covertly deploy special operations forces.

Ohio and her sister ship USS Michigan (SSGN 727) are both homeported at NBK Bangor.

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