USS Key West Update

USS Key West Leads the Pack
USS Key West leads the pack during Excercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19) July/August of this year. TS19 is a bilateral combined Austrailian and United States Navy training activity. It is designed to practice military services planning and conduct Combined and Joint Task Force operations to improve combat readiness and interoperability between Austrailian and US Forces.

Message from the USS Key West to MAC Members:
I hope that this note finds all of you doing well down in the Keys!  Thank you again for the wonderful hospitality during our namesake visit last November.
We completed our scheduled maintenance period in San Diego this past February and returned back to Guam at the end of March.  It is wonderful to be back “home” at the tip of the tip of the spear, and the reunion with friends and family was amazing!  Of course, we didn’t cool our jets for very long…after a few obligatory inspections, we spent the summer at sea supporting multi-national exercises, and had the opportunity to visit Brisbane, Australia – a first, I believe, for the USS KEY WEST!  The attached photo is of us “leading the pack” at the kick off for TALISMAN SABRE 2019.  If you know anything about our shiphandling reputation in the submarine force, you know why we are REALLY in front as the guidon! 
Ryan Helms, our Sailor of the Year that visited with us, went on to be selected as the Commander, Submarine Forces Pacific Sailor of the Year (Afloat), and was promoted to Chief Petty Officer a few weeks ago. 
Looking ahead, I anticipate having my Change of Command next May, where I will be relieved by CDR Michael McGuire.  He is an old (shore duty) shipmate of mine with some close ties to Florida already.  We will be sure to send invitations your way (including the new mayor!).  I only wish that it were easier to get visitors here at the edge of the Pacific…  I am “penciled” in to take a job at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA that I hope will have some potential for temporary duty in Key West so that I can visit.  Perhaps the new fiscal year will mean hard copy orders to make it official. 
Again, if there is anything at all that I can do for you, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
CO 722
CDR J. Grady Hill