July 11, 2012
Capt. Harvey L. Guffey, Jr. (CNW 2007), assumed command of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay from Capt. John S. O’Neill in a ceremony held July 6 at the Kings Bay Chapel.
Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, commander, Navy Region Southeast, was the guest speaker. Cmdr. Ted Fanning, Kings Bay command chaplain, and Navy Band Southeast also took part in the ceremony.
Also present were Rear Adm. Thomas Robertson (ret.), former commander, Submarine Group 10; Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, director, Undersea Warfare Division; and Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, commander, Submarine Group 10.
“At the end of the day, for Capt. O’Neill,” said RDML Scorby, “its been about taking care of his military and civilian shipmates, accomplishing the mission, and enabling his sailors to succeed at work and in life. And John, you have accomplished that mission admirably.”
O’Neill thanked a long list of supporters, including his family, the Camden County community, and commands aboard Kings Bay.
“The 486 civilians and 230 military members I have been privileged to work with over the past two years are true professionals, and they are fully dedicated to their mission to provide support to the fleet, fighter and family,” he said. “It really is a remarkable group of individuals, but more significantly it is a remarkable team.”
“It is an honor, a privilege, and a blessing to stand before you today,” Guffey told the crowd. “After a couple of years working for the Air Force in land-locked Montgomery, Ala., it’s great to be back on the waterfront and have the opportunity to command this world-class facility that provides service and support to the best submarines and Sailors in the world, and to the tremendous families who support them.
“The bar has been set high, and it remains high, and I challenge each of you to maintain the steady strain to continue the positive trends previously discussed — keep your standards high, and never be satisfied with where you’ve been or where we are,” Guffey said. “Perfection remains the goal, and, as a team, we’ll continue to strive to achieve that goal. (Wife) Wanda and I are thrilled and blessed to be part of the team, and we truly look forward to getting to know you all better and working with each of you.”
O’Neill’s next assignment is director of Math and Science at the United States Naval Academy.
Guffey came to Kings Bay from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. He served there from 2010 to 2012, on the faculty as the department chair and an instructor in the Department of Strategy.
Guffey is a native of Ellenboro, N.C., and a 1986 graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
After attending Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., he was commissioned in September 1986. He has since earned a master’s degree in National Security and Military Strategy from the Naval War College, where he graduated with distinction.
Guffey’s first operational assignment was onboard USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN 658) ( Gold) where he completed four strategic deterrent patrols. Vallejo earned the COMSUBRON 16 Battle Efficiency “E” for performance during this period.
He subsequently served as engineering officer on PCU Cheyenne (SSN 773). During his tour, the Cheyenne completed new-construction and shakedown operations.
Additionally, he served as executive officer onboard USS Seawolf (SSN 21), conducting operations to include Weapons System Accuracy Testing, AN/BSY-2 Technical and Operational Evaluation, and the ship’s inaugural deployment to the Northern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.
Guffey commanded USS San Juan (SSN 751). During his tour, San Juan completed countless operations, exercises, inspections and maintenance periods, earning the Commander, Submarine Development Squadron TWELVE Engineering “E,” Tactical “T,” Medical “M” and Supply “E.” Additionally, San Juan deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf and completed two extended operations vital to national security in support of the Global War on Terror.
The crew was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation for operations conducted while on deployment.
Guffey’s shore tours include Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Fla., as an instructor and division director in the Reactor Dynamics/Core Characteristics (RD/CC) curriculum, the staff of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet as a member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (Submarine Warfare Division, OPNAV N87) and deputy commander, Submarine Squadron FOUR in Groton, Conn.
Guffey’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (five awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal (four awards), as well as several unit awards.
Posted by Jenna M. Gagne, Office of Alumni Affairs
Originally published at http://jacksonville.com/military/periscope/2012-07-11/story/guffey-takes-helm