Minn. native takes command of USS Minnesota

USS Minnesota leaves Norfolk, Virginia, for its permanent home port in Groton, Jan. 8, 2014. (Photo: US Navy)

GROTON, Conn. (AP) — A Minnesota native has taken command of a Connecticut-based submarine named for his home state.

Navy Cmdr. Brian Tanaka, who grew up in Rochester, accepted command of USS Minnesota at a ceremony Friday at Naval Submarine Base New London.

Tanaka served as a Navy liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives before taking the assignment he called an opportunity of a lifetime.

The crew had been led since 2010 by Capt. John Fancher, who was in command for the end of the submarine’s construction and its commissioning last September.

Tanaka joined the Navy in 1996 after graduating from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a degree in biochemistry.

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