Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Aug. 28, 2020

Submarine Group 7 Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan Litzenberger, CSG7 Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Rear Adm. Leonard “Butch” Dollaga relieved Rear Adm. James “Jimmy” Pitts as Commander, Submarine Group 7 (CSG7), Commander, Task Force 74 (CTF74) and Commander, Task Force 54 (CTF54) during a change of command ceremony held in front of a virtual audience Friday.

Vice Adm. William Merz, Commander, Seventh Fleet, presided over the ceremony, taking the opportunity to praise Pitts on a successful tour marked by cross-community relationship and alliance building in support of regional and international security objectives.

“Today we celebrate the tremendous efforts of two of our most committed leaders,” said Merz. “Task Force Commanders in the U.S. Navy are the fighting Admirals, and Jimmy, what you did to develop our warfighting plans I think has given us great confidence in our ability to meet the threat wherever it may be. You understand the immense importance of our partners and our submarine force. Jimmy, as always, you left indelible work.”

JMSDF Vice Adm. Yoshitaka Ozama, Commander, Fleet Submarine Force, who had remained close friends with Pitts through his tour in Japan said their rapport paved the way for an increase in engagements between Japanese and U.S. submarine crews.

“I would like to express my respect for your great achievement in Yokosuka. Western Pacific region, the area we are responsible for is arguably the busiest in the world. However, even in such a situation, it was most reassuring to us that you and your team were in Yokosuka,” said Ozama. “Rear Admiral Dollaga, Butch-san, welcome to Japan, and welcome to Yokosuka! I am very pleased to meet you again and be able to work together. Let’s create a new era together.”

Dollaga, a native of Vallejo, California, reported to CSG7 from Undersea Warfighting Development Center based in Groton, Connecticut.

“Thank you for the opportunity to join the Seventh Fleet team, where we are laser-focused on warfighting, and for the opportunity to live and work in this great country alongside out Japanese hosts and very good friends. It simply does not get any better,” said Dollaga. “I am committed to building on the tremendous work and the momentum Jimmy has established over the past two plus years.”

Pitts, a native of Milton, Florida, heads to Washington, D.C. to be Director of Warfare Integration, N9I, on the Chief of Naval Operations staff. He thanked Merz, his fellow Task Force commanders and his counterparts in regional navies and fleets for making his tour both impactful and memorable. He also talked about the tenacity of his staff as they worked every day to make CSG7’s combined air, surface and undersea team a decisive force at sea.

“To the staff of Submarine Group 7, you operate in the epicenter of the Indo-Pacific, the most relevant region in the world. You maintain coverage of the undersea domain every day of the year across two oceans and two forward deployed fleets. You sit at the forefront of [Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare] operations, and your constant vigilance ensures our submarines and other assigned forces are effective and ready to respond at a moment’s notice,” he said.

“Today you continue to execute your duties undaunted by COVID-19 related challenges, remaining alert and ready to fight tonight. I will head to my next assignment knowing that our forward deployed undersea force is in great hands.”

COMSUBGRU 7 directs submarine activities throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea; two forward-deployed submarine tenders and four attack submarines homeported in Guam; five surveillance towed array sensor system vessels and three oceanographic survey vessels when tasked for theater anti-submarine warfare operations.


Like Us
Follow Us



Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Returns to Homeport
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) returns to Naval Station North Island following a seven-month deployment, Aug. 11.The Abraham Lincoln, lead ship of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, returned to Naval Air Station North Island after a deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleets in support of maritime security operations to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Aug. 12, 2022 - SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) returned home Aug. 11, marking the end of a seven-month deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet area of operations.The strike group’s flagship, Nimitz-class...

Pacific Air Forces Provide Aid through Pacific Angel
Aug. 12, 2022 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The U.S. will deploy a U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Medical Support and health response team to Subang Air Base, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to promote interoperability of regional...

Bilateral Runway Repair Enhances Partnerships
Japan Air Self-Defense Force 3rd Air Wing personnel outline an area to excavate in order to repair damage during Rapid Airfield Damage Repair training at Draughon Range, Japan, Aug. 3, 2022. U.S. and Japanese partners worked alongside each other repairing the craters while observers from both countries took notes on the difference in procedures.
Aug. 12, 2022 - MISAWA AIR BASE, AOMORI, Japan -- Members of the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) 3rd Air Wing counterparts participated side-by-side in a live-fire and rapid airfield damage repair...

Osan Activates Fighter Generation Squadrons
Airmen assigned to the 25th Fighter Generation Squadron perform preflight checks on an A-10C Thunderbolt II at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 23, 2022. The 25th Fighter Squadron and newly activated 25th FGS work together to prepare for and execute close air support missions in defense of the Republic of Korea and regional stability.
Aug. 12, 2022 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Osan Air Base recently activated two new Fighter Generation Squadrons (FGS). The 51st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron made way for the 25th and 36th FGS, activated to support and maintain...

U.S. Supports Bangladesh’s Launch of Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign
The U.S. Embassy joined the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Ministry of Education and international partners to launch Bangladesh’s national campaign to vaccinate children between ages 5-11 with pediatric doses of U.S.-donated Pfizer vaccines.
Aug. 12, 2022 - DHAKA, U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh -- Today, U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas joined Health Minister Zahid Maleque and Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni to launch the national campaign to administer U.S.-donated Pfizer pediatric...