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Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly takes over as commander of the Navy’s Submarine Force during a ceremony Saturday, replacing Vice Adm. Chuck Munns, who plans to retire, Navy officials said.

Donnelly leaves his job as deputy commander and chief of staff for the U.S. Pacific Fleet to assume the new position, which includes being commander of the Submarine Force Atlantic, Allied Submarine Command, and of Task Forces 46, 82, 84, and 144, according to a Navy news release.

Donnelly inherits a command recently afflicted by two submarine incidents that led to the subs’ commanding officers being relieved of their duties because of a loss of confidence in their ability to lead.

The two incidents, occurring 10 days apart during routine operations, prompted Munns to call for an operational “stand-down” and for submarine commanders to review procedures.

On Dec. 29, two sailors died after being swept from the surface of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul as it pulled out of an English port during bad weather.

On Jan. 8, the USS Newport News collided with a Japanese oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. There were no injuries or fatalities in the collision.

Munns retires Saturday, ending a career that began in 1973 when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor of science degree in physics. The combined change-of-command and retirement ceremony will be held at the Vista Point Club and Catering Center, Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Donnelly also started his career at the Naval Academy, graduating with distinction in 1975 with a bachelor of science degree in physics, according to the news release. He earned a master of science degree in engineering acoustics in 1976 from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.


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