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Byrne takes command of NNPTC

By MC3 (SW/AW) John Haynes | Naval Nuclear Power Training Command Public Affairs | July 14, 2015

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Naval Nuclear Power Training Command held a change of command ceremony at NNPTC aboard Joint Base Charleston - Naval Weapons Station, S.C., July 10, 2015.

Capt. Kevin M. Byrne relieved Capt. Jon R. Fahs, Jr. as NNPTC's commanding officer.

Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, director, Warfare Integration (N91), was the guest speaker for the event and shared praise for Fahs.

"The highest honor for Captain Fahs was rendered this morning when 485 students walked across this stage as graduates of one of the most rigorous training programs in the Navy," said Breckenridge. "They all bear his stamp, his principles, his acceptance that they are not just good enough, but they are supremely qualified to man today's ships, and lead tomorrow's Navy."

He said this was a testament to both NNPTC's value to the fleet and Fahs' personal character.

"Our thanks are not enough," said Breckenridge. "We can't summon the words that capture the miles steamed, the people touched, and the bright young minds galvanized to lives of purposeful service."

During Fahs' tour as commanding officer, NNPTC added to an already impressive record, successfully training approximately 10,000 Sailors for service on 10 aircraft carriers and more than 70 submarines. NNPTC students and staff also served more than 27,000 hours of volunteer service in the Charleston community. Fahs also helped create and implement Project Star, a drug and alcohol awareness program that ultimately lowered alcohol related incidents at the command by 50 percent. For his accomplishments, Fahs was presented the Legion of Merit Medal and an accompanying presidential citation. He was also awarded gubernatorial letters of appreciation from South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Hawaii.

"I am blessed to have the best crew ever assembled here," said Fahs, who is retiring after 29 years of service. "I have loved my time at this command. I have been honored to serve alongside so many great friends and compatriots during my time here."

Byrne comes to NNPTC from Submarine Squadron 17 in Bangor, Wa., where he previously served as the deputy commander.  During his first speech as commanding officer, Byrne addressed the audience and shared praise for Fahs.

"I appreciate everything you have done here," said Byrne. "Your leadership is evident everywhere I go and everyone I've met in my short time here has been a true professional."

Byrne vowed to continue NNPTC's record of success in and out of the schoolhouse.  As the commanding officer of NNPTC, Byrne will be ultimately responsible for the management and training of approximately 500 staff and more than 3,500 students.

"I really want the staff and students to know that I am happy to be here," Byrne said. "The job that this command does is amazing. I'm really looking forward to leading and creating America's finest nuclear trained personnel."

After the change of command, NNPTC will continue to serve as the military's primary nuclear training facility.

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