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USS Boise Welcomes New Commanding Officer
By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Public Affairs
Released: January 22, 2010

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Boise (SSN 764) held a change of command ceremony Jan. 22 at Naval Station Norfolk.

Cmdr. Brian L. Sittlow relieved Cmdr. Paul S. Snodgrass as commanding officer

Capt. Frank Cattani, commander, Submarine Squadron 8, was the principal speaker at the ceremony.

"Cmdr. Snodgrass, under your leadership the crew of Boise has excelled in all mission areas," said Cattani. "I congratulate you and your crew on Boise's many significant accomplishments and Boise's outstanding reputation. Not many crews have had to work as hard and overcome as many obstacles. Your men have performed superbly while conducting forward-deployed operations in several theaters, and have expertly maintained their ship during complex shipyard maintenance.

"Paul, few submarine commanders have faced and overcome the many challenges as well as you during his command of Boise. You have proven yourself to be an expert submariner with impeccable standards and exceptional competence. Also, you are one of those rare leaders who are able to take his team to the highest levels, while keeping their well-being a high priority."

Cattani presented Snodgrass with his second Meritorious Service Medal citing his "superior leadership, demanding standards, keen prioritization, planning and persistence in directing the outstanding performance of his crew."

"During the past 24-months our ship was away from Norfolk 319 days," said Snodgrass, who reported aboard Boise in February 2008 as the submarine's eighth commanding officer. "Boise crew, you have always made me proud. You have performed every task assigned to our ship. It was the persistent day-to-day performances by you, working together as a team with a common goal, which allowed Boise to achieve its mission.

"Each of you performed your individual roles to the best of your ability. The sum of your individual efforts exceeded my expectations. You were always on watch, displaying a diverse set of skills, all with great enthusiasm and total dedication. You make Boise a submarine. To each of you, I thank you and your families for your sacrifice."

In attendance were Dirk Kempthorne, former secretary of the Interior, governor of Idaho governor U.S. senator; Boise, Idaho Mayor David Bieter; and Tom Killingsworth, chairman of the USS Boise commissioning committee.

"I would like to recognize some special guests today attending from our namesake city of Boise," said Snodgrass. "Governor Kempthorne, Mayor Bieter, and Tom, the crew and I thank you, the city of Boise, and the committee for your continued support of our ship, crew, and families."

Snodgrass will report to the Tactical, Readiness, and Evaluation Team at Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Sittlow reports to Boise from Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he received his Masters of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies in 2009.

"For the crew of Boise, I am humbled and honored to be your new commanding officer," said Sittlow. "I look forward to serving and sailing with you. As I assume command today, I am forever grateful for many members of the submarine fraternity that have guided me throughout my career, providing leadership, counseling and occasional nudges along the way.

"I want to personally thank Cmdr. Snodgrass for a great turnover and for his cherished advice. He has provided inspirational leadership and unrelenting service to Boise. I also want to thank Governor Kempthorne and Mayor Bieter for attending today, and once again for infusing the spirit of the west into this wonderful ship and crew."

Snodgrass was grateful for his opportunity to command at sea.

"It is a humbling experience that the U.S. Navy entrusted me to care not only for a multi-million dollar submarine, but more importantly for the well-being of some of the nation's most dedicated and hardworking Sailors," said Snodgrass. "Working with the Navy's best trained, most talented, and highly motivated Sailors is what makes the U.S. Submarine Force such a rewarding profession."

Under Snodgrass' tenure as commanding officer, Boise was presented their third Meritorious Unit Commendation during a formal ceremony Jan. 8. The crew was recognized for exceeding operational requirements during a 2008 deployment in the European Command Area of Operations, conducting four highly successful allied naval exercises with the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain.

Boise is the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of Idaho's capital city. Built by Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, Boise was commissioned Nov. 7, 1992. The 360-foot ship has a crew compliment of 13 officers and 121 enlisted Sailors.