GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- The top command at Naval Submarine Base New London was disestablished Aug. 22 during an outdoor ceremony aboard Virginia-class attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN 780) stationed in Groton, Connecticut.
Submarine Group 2 has been disbanded after 49 years in a move that streamlines the command-and-control structure for Atlantic-based attack submarines and aligns it with a more efficient organizational arrangement on the West Coast.
Three submarine squadron commanders, who oversee attack submarines stationed in Connecticut and Virginia, will now immediately report to Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.
"A smooth and responsible 'sundown' of Submarine Group 2 has been our objective for the past year. We deliberately sought to make it seamless," said outgoing commander Rear Adm. Kenneth Perry. "We make that transition now, the result of thoughtful planning and solid teamwork."
Personnel who staffed Submarine Group 2's 45 military and civilian positions in Groton have been reassigned.
Perry, 53, is retiring following 32 years of active-duty service.
"You have given so much, Admiral Perry, to our nation over these many years," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut. He was the first of four speakers, which included Adm. John Richardson, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, and Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces.
Connor spoke about contributions Submarine Group 2 has made throughout history to prepare submarines for forward operations around the world.
"The true strength of Submarine Group 2 has been their ability to adapt, to remain flexible, to adjust to the mission and the needs of the Navy," said Connor.
Submarine Group 2 was originally named "Submarine Flotilla Two" when it formed in August 1965. It provided oversight for the planning and operation of ballistic-missile submarines until the early 1990s.
Most recently, Submarine Group 2 has provided oversight to three submarine squadrons, waterfront maintenance and support units, a torpedo facility, 23 operational attack submarines and five newly formed crews for Virginia-class submarines under construction.
"The proud history of Submarine Group 2 is etched in all of our DNA," said Richardson.
Perry was awarded the Legion of Merit for achievements during his final tour. He assumed command of Submarine Group 2 in April 2013.
In addition to maintaining responsibility for 29 attack submarines, Perry led a 60-member Navy task force that delivered a plan for formal review to integrate enlisted women into the submarine force by 2016.
"Ken was the consummate naval officer, full of adventure, full of laughter, full of love and full of service," Richardson said.
Perry closed his final remarks by thanking the Navy for "a great adventure."
For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.