An experienced and distinguished command team has been announced for Pre-Commissioning Unit Montana (SSN 794). The VIRGINIA Class nuclear-powered attack submarine is under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding and is expected to be commissioned as part of the U.S. Navy fleet in 2020.
The first commanding officer will be Cmdr. Michael F. Delaney. The other members of the command team will be executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey A. Kahn, and chief of the boat, Senior Chief Petty Officer Michael D. Dassau.
On being named the first commanding officer, Delaney said, “All of us who will serve aboard Montana have a deep appreciation for the values, courage, heritage and history of our boat’s namesake state. These Montana attributes contribute to the strength and purpose of our crew as we defend our nation.”
An experienced and decorated officer, Delaney is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Hackensack, New Jersey, native, who has served aboard both ballistic missile and attack submarines. His shore assignments included key positions on the staff of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear/Missile Defense Policy and the Atlantic Fleet Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board. He also served as the Submarine Junior Officer Detailer at Navy Personnel Command and the Submarine Squadron 12 Deputy for Readiness.
Kahn, a Las Vegas, Nevada, native is the second in command and brings unique skills and perspectives to his position. He began his Navy career in the enlisted ranks, serving aboard a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Commissioned as an officer in 2004, he served aboard a nuclear ballistic missile submarine and three nuclear-powered fast attack submarines. Shore tours included instructing Prospective Nuclear Engineer Officers and serving as a Strategic Planner with the U.S. Strategic Command.
Dassau, a Jacksonville, North Carolina, native, is the senior enlisted advisor onboard and brings along exceptional leadership experience. He served aboard nuclear ballistic missile submarines and nuclear-powered fast attack submarines. His previous shore assignments include Strategic Weapons Facility specializing in electronic system security and instructing at a Submarine Training Facility.
The command team reported to PCU Montana (SSN 794) earlier this month.
According to Dr. Bill Whitsitt, Chairman of the USS Montana commissioning committee, Montanans are eager to welcome the leadership team and crew members to the Treasure State.
“Our citizens want Montana’s first crew and their successors to know how much we appreciate their service to our nation, and that we look forward to supporting the state’s namesake warship and crews for her entire service life,” said Whitsitt.
More information about the USS Montana Committee and progress toward commissioning of Montana’s namesake warship may be found at www.ussmontanacommittee.us.