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Submarine Learning Center Holds Change of Command, Retirement Ceremony

15 June 2018

From Submarine Learning Center Public Affairs

Capt. Aaron Thieme relieved Capt. Andrew Jarrett as commanding officer of the Submarine Learning Center (SLC) during a change of command and retirement ceremony on board Naval Submarine Base New London, June 14.
Capt. Aaron Thieme relieved Capt. Andrew Jarrett as commanding officer of the Submarine Learning Center (SLC) during a change of command and retirement ceremony on board Naval Submarine Base New London, June 14.

Jarrett retired after 29 years of honorable naval service. He served as the sixth commanding officer of SLC from December 2015 to present.

Guest speaker, Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, program executive officer for submarines, humorously recounted his long association with Jarrett, but was serious and sincere in lauding his achievements for an overflow audience of family, friends, shipmates and staff.

Jabaley described how Jarrett's contributions while leading SLC were evident in the success of the submarine mission accomplishment at sea through the competent and proficient performance of the crews. Jarrett's innovations helped position submarine training for success for years to come.

For his part, in his final remarks to his SLC staff, Jarrett said he was fortunate to be surrounded by so many dedicated professionals working to constantly improve the submarine force and Sailor training.

"It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your commanding officer as together we strove to develop the finest and best-trained Sailors in the world for the world's most advanced and finest submarine force," said Jarrett.

Jarrett graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. Following nuclear power and submarine training, he reported to ballistic-missile submarine USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN 617) to qualify in submarines and as nuclear engineering officer. After a homeport change, he transferred to USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730) and completed two strategic patrols.

In September 1993, he reported to the Advanced Education Program at the University of Washington, where he earned a Master of Science in mechanical engineering. After completion of Submarine Officer's Advanced Course in March 1996, he reported to attack submarine USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN 708), where he served as navigation/operations officer until September 1998, and completed two north Atlantic deployments and one Mediterranean deployment.

In September 1998, he reported to Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet as the force special operations officer until March 2001. After completion of prospective executive officer training, he reported to USS Louisville (SSN 724), where he served as executive officer until July 2003, and completed two western Pacific deployments that included combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In August 2003, he reported to the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he earned a Master of Science in national security strategy. He then reported to The Joint Staff, Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5) where he served as executive assistant to the deputy director for International Negotiations and Multilateral Affairs until April 2006.

After completion of prospective commanding officer training, he reported to USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), where he served as commanding officer until June 2009. During his tour, the ship conducted a deployment to the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility and earned the U.S. Fleet Forces Command Retention Excellence Award for 2008.

In July 2009, he reported to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he served as 5th Battalion officer until March 2013 when he assumed the duties of deputy commandant of midshipmen, and then commanding officer, Naval Submarine School in 2013. Jarrett assumed command of Submarine Learning Center in December 2015.

In his remarks upon assumption of command, Thieme spoke of submarine force operations in today's maritime environment and the role of hard work and constant training in the success of maintaining undersea maritime superiority.

"Much of that work falls on your shoulders in the training that you are doing today," Thieme told his new command. "I want you to feel a sense of seriousness and urgency - not just importance - but urgency in the work you do in developing the training and giving the training for our Sailors and our teams in the science and art of operating in the undersea.

Our future as a force and as a Navy quite literally depends on it. Our advantage in the undersea is not driven solely by better submarines and better gear. Our advantage is also driven by our people - the quality of the all-volunteer professional force and the quality of the training."

A native of Denver, Thieme earned a Bachelor of Engineering in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1992 and earned his commission through the Naval ROTC program. His education includes graduate degrees from the University of Mississippi and the Naval War College. He successfully completed the Royal navy Submarine Command Course (Perisher) aboard HMS Tireless (S88)and HMS Sceptre (S104).

Following nuclear power and submarine training, Thieme served as a junior officer aboard USS Georgia (SSBN 729) Blue Crew, where he qualified in submarines and completed five strategic deterrent patrols. At sea, he also served as the combat systems officer aboard USS Toledo (SSN 769), where he deployed once each, to the north Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea; executive officer of USS Annapolis (SSN 760), where he deployed to the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom; and commanding officer of USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723).

Thieme's shore assignments include service as deputy commander for training for Submarine Squadron 4; operations officer for Submarine Development Squadron 12; NROTC instructor at the University of Mississippi; and commanding officer of Naval Submarine School.

The Submarine Learning Center's mission is management of three major functions: planning, programing, budgeting, and executing individual and team training for Undersea Warfare Enterprise mission readiness; developing, assigning, and coordinating future undersea warfare training and education solutions and allocating resources to execute undersea warfare training at Commander, Submarine Force's fleet concentration areas; and ensuring fleet training readiness in support of Commander, Submarine Force's mission accomplishment.

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