Submariner’s accomplishments commended

Two years since completing an exchange posting aboard a US Navy nuclear-powered submarine, an Australian submariner received the United States Navy (USN) and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his service while in the UK.

CAPTIONRear Admiral Lincoln Reifsteck, US Navy, presents Commander Daniel McCall, Royal Australian Navy, with a citation that accompanies the US Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

Commander Daniel McCall is serving as an exchange officer within the UK’s Submarine Delivery Agency and received his commendation during AUKUS Pillar 1 meetings held in London in December 2023.

Rear Admiral Lincoln Reifsteck, USN, presented the medal on behalf of the US Secretary of Navy Carlos Del Toro, recognising Commander McCall’s accomplishments during a 2021 deployment aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722) as an exchange officer.

The citation accompanying the medal reads in part, “Commander McCall contributed to the successful accomplishments of two missions vital to the national security of the United States,” and that, “through his continuous effort, he strengthened the ties between the US Navy and the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Forces”.

Commander McCall’s presentation ceremony was held in King Henry VIII’s Wine Cellar – an historical feature built in 1536 that is now preserved underneath the UK’s Ministry of Defence main building, Whitehall.

Fellow senior leaders Rear Admiral Matt Buckley, RAN Head Nuclear Submarine Capability in the Australian Submarine Agency, and Rear Admiral Chris Shepherd, RN, joined Rear Admiral Reifsteck in congratulating Commander McCall on his distinguished feat.

“Commander McCall’s achievement demonstrates the professionalism of RAN and USN submariners and our long history of working closely together on operations,” Rear Admiral Buckley said.

“The efforts of Commander McCall and the professional and personal relationships he has developed will be well utilised as we now embark on an even deeper relationship through the AUKUS nuclear submarine program.”

Commander McCall said the presence of senior leaders from the three partner nations highlighted the importance of the ceremony and AUKUS Pillar 1’s mission to deliver a sovereign conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability to Australia.

“I truly appreciate the time under way with my USN shipmates and I am grateful to receive such an award,” Commander McCall said.

“Opportunities such as these are highly beneficial for both parties, which will be further realised as more RAN submariners serve in Virginia-class submarines under AUKUS.

“I was also fortunate to have former commanders of mine at the ceremony – Commodore Brad Francis [RAN] and Captain Doug Theobald [RAN] – who are both fulfilling essential AUKUS positions in the US and UK respectively.”


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