Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - A change of command ceremony was held aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) at the submarine piers on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Friday.

Cmdr. David Cox, commanding officer of Louisville, was relieved by Cmdr. Robert Rose.

Guest speaker Capt. Robert Roncska, commander, Submarine Squadron Seven, praised Cox for his leadership and commitment while in command of Louisville.

"There is no doubt that Dave is the best of the breed, leaders who bring excellence by their initiative and their devotion to the people who work around them," said Roncska.

Cox said he was honored to have the opportunity to command Louisville and expressed his gratitude to the crew for their hard work and dedication to the mission.

"You men epitomize the greatness of our submarine force," said Cox. "You never backed away from a challenge and always kept the ship in the fight, routinely exceeding all expectations."

Following his remarks, Cox was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his exceptional performance as commanding officer from May 2015 to Oct. 2017.

As Rose assumed command of Louisville, he commended the crew for their accomplishments and told them to be ready for more hard work to come.

"I am honored to stand here as your shipmate," said Rose. "You have been busy and have accomplished a lot. You should feel proud. It will take a lot of hard work to deploy next year. I know we will be ready."

Following his sea tour aboard USS Louisville, Cox will report to Commander, Submarine Squadron 15, in Guam.

Louisville is the fourth United States ship to bear the name in honor of the city of Louisville, Kentucky. She is the 35th nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine of the Los Angeles-class design.