Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, delivered a keynote address at the Change of Command Ceremony for the USS Delaware, held at the Norfolk Naval Base.

Capt. Brian P. Hogan relinquished command to Cmdr. Matthew Horton as commanding officers of the USS Delaware, a Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine.

The USS Delaware is the first Navy ship to be named for the First State since 1923 and the seventh vessel to bear its name overall. In April 2020, the USS Delaware will journey to the Port of Wilmington where a commissioning ceremony will be held.

“Over the last several years, I’ve been honored to work with Commanding Officer Brian Hogan to make sure the USS Delaware crew feels a connection to the First State — from welcoming crew members at NASCAR events to giving them a warm welcome on the University of Delaware’s football field during a game,” said Carper. “Hogan has shared my vision of ensuring the crew is proud to serve aboard a vessel named after the First State, the USS Delaware. He has been a tremendous leader who has led by his example, and I want to thank him and his family for all that they have done to get the USS Delaware to this point. You’ll always be welcome in the Delaware. I look forward to welcoming Commander Horton to the First State family as we plan for the USS Delaware’s commissioning in Wilmington early next year.”

Hogan is a 1998 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. He also holds a Master’s of Science in engineering management from Old Dominion University and a Masters in Arts in national security from the Naval War College. His sea tours include service as chemistry and radiological controls assistant, damage control assistant, assistant engineer and operations officer on the USS City of Corpus Christi; engineer officer on USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul; and executive officer on USS Wyoming and USS Nevada. Ashore, he has served as the flag aide for the Commander Submarines, U.S. Pacific Fleet, on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Undersea Warfare, and as the executive officer of the Tactical Readiness Evaluation Team for Commander Submarines, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Hogan’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy Commendation Medals and four Navy Achievement Medals.

Horton, a native of West Monroe, Louisiana, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering. Additionally, he holds a Master's of Science in engineering management from the Catholic University of America. Horton’s operational assignments include service in fast attack and ballistic missile submarines. He completed a Western Pacific deployment as a division officer in USS Los Angeles, Southern Pacific and Northern Atlantic deployments as engineer officer in USS Newport News and four strategic deterrent patrols as executive officer in USS Wyoming. His shore assignments include assignments as an intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, junior board member on the Fleet Forces Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board and as U.S. Strategic Command Task Force One Four Four assistant deputy chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Operations.

The USS Delaware is a nuclear-powered, fast-attack Virginia Class submarine. The Virginia-class is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines in service with the Navy. The Navy considers it to be the “next generation” of attack submarine, with several innovations that significantly enhance its warfighting capabilities with an emphasis on littoral operations, and the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology.

In 2012, Carper, along with Sen. Chris Coons and then-Congressman John Carney joined together to send a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus that called on the Navy to name a submarine after the First State. Carper followed that up with phone calls to Mabus further encouraging him to keep the First State in mind. Months later, the Navy agreed that a state-of-the-art submarine — one of the most modern and technologically advanced in the world — would be named the USS Delaware.