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Dollaga Relieves Pannell as Commanding Officer of USS Charlotte
By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class (SW) Cynthia Clark
Commander, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
Released: April 29, 2008

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- Cmdr. Butch Dollaga relieved Cmdr. Bobby Pannell as commanding officer of USS Charlotte (SSN 766) in a ceremony at Pearl Harbor Naval Station, Tuesday, April 29. Commander Bobby Pannell is piped ashore after being relieved as commanding officer of USS Charlotte (SSN 766) by Commander Butch Dollaga during a change of command ceremony at Pearl Harbor Naval Station, Tuesday, April 29.

Captain Lindsay Hankins, Commander, Submarine Squadron One, guest speaker at the event, spoke on Pannell and Charlotte’s success in the shipyard during their depot modernization period (DMP) as well as their transition back to Pearl Harbor from Norfolk, Va.

“Your commitment to safely and expertly completing an arduous DMP, returning the ship to sea and laying the foundation for future ship’s operations and successes has been noteworthy and has positioned the ship for many future successes,” he said.

Following the guest speaker’s remarks, Hankins presented Cmdr. Pannell with his second Meritorious Service Medal for leading USS Charlotte through their “intense” DMP as well as their transit through the Panama Canal back to Pearl Harbor as well as their success through “numerous certifications, inspections and Eastern Pacific operations.” USS Charlotte also received the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award for 2006 and 100 percent junior officer retention during Pannell’s tenure as commanding officer.

In his closing remarks, Cmdr. Pannell expressed how “proud” he was of his crew during their arduous shipyard period and in the time since leaving the shipyard.

“Your high motivation, strong work ethic and impressive training program made my job easy,” said Pannell. “Serving with some of the best men you could ever meet on board this mighty warship was a dream come true.”

As Cmdr. Dollaga assumed command of Charlotte he complimented his new crew on the condition of the ship and their help during the turnover process and closed the ceremony letting them know he was up for the task.

“I am honored and privileged to be your commanding officer,” Dollaga said. “I look forward to serving you in that capacity through the next two deployments.”

Pannell departs Pearl Harbor for the Washington, D.C. to serve the office of the Joint Chief of Staff. His sea tours include executive officer of USS Olympia (SSN 717), USS Louisville (SSN 724) and USS James Madison (SSBN 627). Pannell enlisted in the Navy in 1982, was later selected for the Nuclear Enlisted Commissioning Program and graduated from the University of Texas in 1987.