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NEWS | June 3, 2024

Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston Conducts Change of Command

By Kellie Randall Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston

Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston, responsible for training nuclear operators for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, held a change of command May 31. Capt. Robert Rose relieved Capt. Gregory Koepp as Commanding Officer, Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston.

Koepp, a native of Picayune, Mississippi, and a graduate of Louisiana State University, assumed command of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit in May 2021. During his tenure, Koepp led the organization through a once-in-a-lifetime transition for the training program. His leadership enabled the entire training program to successfully transition from the S5W to S6G Moored Training Ships and training programs. Specifically, the command achieved the remote shipyard conversion of USS San Francisco (SSN 711) to Moored Training Ship 711.

Over the last three years, the training command qualified and certified 1,515 officers, 74 civilians, and 6,178 enlisted nuclear propulsion plant operators. He led his team in implementing a highly specialized Integrated Training Group to maximize the efficiency of advanced simulator trainer technology. His team allocated dedicated resources to building Sailor resiliency, which allowed the command to achieve historic student graduation timelines and historically low attrition rates. During the ceremony, Koepp acknowledged and thanked the staff.

The Director of Naval Reactors, Adm. Bill Houston presided over the ceremony and spoke of the unique responsibility held by Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston and of the importance of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program to national security.

“The person we are here to recognize today has played a distinct role in leading this prototype to accomplish this vital mission for the past two years,” said Houston. “We trusted him with the incredible responsibility of commanding this top performing unit and he has shaped the next generation of nuclear trained operators.”

During his distinguished years of service, Koepp has served as a career submariner. Koepp’s sea tours include division officer assignments aboard USS Tennessee (SSBN 734), navigation and operations department head aboard USS Virginia (SSN 774), and executive officer aboard USS Buffalo (SSN 715). He commanded USS Colorado (SSN 788), where his team completed sea trials, commissioning, and the Post Shakedown Availability to deliver the ship to the fleet. Ashore, Koepp has served in a variety of positions, including as site executive officer at Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston and as Submarine Squadron Four deputy commander. Houston presented Koepp with a second star in lieu of a third Legion of Merit award.

Rose, a native of Garland, Utah, and graduate of Utah State University received his commission at Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. He has served in a variety of afloat and ashore positions, including most recently as the division chief of United States Strategic Command J81, Advanced Warfare Capabilities Division. Rose’s sea tours include division officer assignments aboard USS Miami (SSN 755), engineer officer aboard USS San Francisco (SSN 711), and as executive officer aboard USS Columbus (SSN 762). He commanded USS Louisville (SSN 724), where his team completed the ship’s final deployment to U.S. Central Command.

Ashore, Rose has served in a variety of positions, including as the deputy program manager for the Director, Undersea Warfare Division, as the director of special operations for Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and as the senior board member on the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The Nuclear Training Unit, Charleston, has the responsibility of training enlisted and officer Sailors as well as Naval Nuclear Laboratory civilians for shipboard nuclear power plant operation and maintenance of surface ships and submarines in the U.S. Nuclear Navy. The training site was established in 1989 with the Moored Training Ship 635 and the S5W training program. The Naval Nuclear Training Unit, Charleston currently operates two S6G Moored Training Ships and multiple fully immersive training simulators.