Commander, Submarine Squadron 21 Holds Change of Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro | July 08, 2018

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 21, held a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, July 8.

Capt. Sean M. Muth relieved Capt. Enrique Panlilio as commander of a submarine squadron responsible for bringing theater support to deployed units, allowing for better coordination in submarine operational, logistics, and maintenance support, and providing oversight on submarine training and exercises to support theater operations.

Commander, Submarine Group 7, Task Force (TF) 54, Rear Adm. James E. Pitts, presided over the ceremony and commended Panlilio for his accomplishments during his tour of duty as commander of CSS 21.

“As only the second Submarine Squadron 21 commander, he has made enormous progress across many fronts,” said Pitts. “Particularly in the theater anti-submarine warfare [ASW] mission area. Rick built the framework for coalition theater ASW operations in this theater. He then put that framework into execution through a number of exercises and real world operations, quickly maturing our tactics, techniques and procedures, and interoperability in a critical war-fighting mission.”

Panlilio took time during his speech to thank his team and noted his success would not be possible without their hard work and support.

“For my team here at CSS 21, I could not be more proud of the progress we have made in building this organization into a unit that provides predictable, repeatable and excellent results,” said Panlilio. “Keep up the great team work. Back to those predictable, repeatable and excellent results, never take that as a given. It [results] will always come from hard work.”

After assuming command of CSS 21, Muth described his vision for the way forward.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to serve you,” said Muth. “President Theodore Roosevelt described the ‘Man in the Arena’ over 100 years ago. Those words have inspired me almost my entire naval career. I am so glad to be back in the arena with this team. Let’s strive for excellence without arrogance.”

COMSUBRON 21 is a forward deployed unit first established in October 2014. The mission of the squadron covers all aspects of submarine operations from effective submarine employment, to safety and logistics.

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