Change of command ceremony

Outgoing Cmdr. Michael Hollenbach, right, returns a salute from his relief, Cmdr. Mark Robinson, left, as Capt. Brian Sittlow oversees the time-honored naval tradition at the Dealey Theater on Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn., on Thursday.

Submitted/Petty Officer 1st Class STEVEN HOSKINS

The Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine, USS North Dakota held a change ceremony at the Dealey Theater onboard Naval Submarine Base New London on Thursday.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and first lady Kathryn Burgum were in attendance at the ceremony where Cmdr. Mark Robinson relieved Cmdr. Michael Hollenbach as North Dakota’s commanding officer.

Burgum said that the citizens of North Dakota are grateful to be connected with the North Dakota and its crew because of the great work and service that they provide. Burgum also spoke about his personal connection to the Navy through his father who joined the service after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Hollenbach said he was grateful for the close relationship that North Dakota and its crew maintained with the state and its residents.

The outgoing commanding officer praised the North Dakota crew as “talented, dedicated and hard-working.” 

“These sailors met the challenge head on, they met every milestone they were tasked with on time, and they brought the boat out of the shipyard and back to operations," he said.