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NEWS | April 13, 2022

Submarine Group 7 Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Lt.Cmdr. Robert Reinheimer, Commander, Submarine Group Seven Public Affairs

Submarine Group 7 held a change of command ceremony at the Fleet Theater onboard Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, April 13, 2022.

Rear Adm. Leonard “Butch” Dollaga was relieved by Rear Adm. Rick Seif as Commander, Submarine Group 7 (CSG 7), which also serves as Commander, Task Force 74 (CTF 74), and Commander, Task Force 54 (CTF 54).

Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, was the guest speaker at the ceremony and commended both Dollaga as well as the CTF 74 staff on their work.

“I have been immensely impressed with the way you and your team have dealt with operations in theater especially during our current challenging times,” said Thomas. “As CTF 74 Commander, you and your team's leadership and flawless execution of numerous Theater Undersea Warfare and submarine operations significantly contributed, both in the near and long term, to the Navy’s mission accomplishment throughout the largest operational area of responsibility in the submarine force.”

During the ceremony Thomas presented Dollaga the Legion of Merit for his outstanding performance since taking over CSG 7 in August 2020.

Vice Adm. Tawara Tateki, commander, Fleet Submarine Force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), also presented Dollaga with a letter of commendation during the ceremony, which acknowledged the work Dollaga oversaw at CSG 7 to promote interoperability of submarine operations between Japan and the United States.

Dollaga, a native of Vallejo, California, thanked the CSG 7 staff for their support during his tour.

“These last few years at Submarine Group 7 have been an absolute honor,” said Dollaga. “I am certainly going to miss this job, the responsibility, and most of all, all the people here in Japan.”

Dollaga will report to the Pentagon next, for his next assignment as chief of legislative affairs.

Seif, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, most recently served as Commander, Undersea Warfighting Development Center in Groton, Connecticut. He becomes the 48th commander of Submarine Group 7.

“Submarine Group 7 has turned in eye-watering success under Rear Adm. Dollaga’s leadership,” said Seif. “I am honored to join this unmatched team of undersea warfighting professionals. The combat readiness of our deployed undersea forces is job number one, and I’m excited to get to work!”

CSG 7 directs forward-deployed, combat capable forces across the full spectrum of undersea warfare throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea; two forward-deployed submarine tenders and five 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.

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