Fargo Native Completes Tour as Submarine’s Commanding Officer

A Fargo, North Dakota, native is headed for U.S. 2nd Fleet Future Operations after successfully serving as the commanding officer of a Los Angeles-class attack submarine. 

Cmdr. Mathias Vorachek

Cmdr. Mathias Vorachek assumed command of USS Albany (SSN 753) in July 2018, and will move on to his new role at U.S. 2nd Fleet in Norfolk, Virginia. 

Vorachek said his favorite aspect of the Submarine Force is how tight knit the group is and how long-lasting the relationships are. 

“I most cherish the tight knit group that we are as submariners,” Vorachek said. “I routinely encounter old shipmates and acquaintances. The relationships we develop aboard a submarine are long lasting due to the fact we rely so heavily upon each other while operating.”

Vorachek says the best part of his time as commanding officer was training and preparing his crew for time at sea. As commanding officer, Vorachek maintained the absolute authority and responsibility for the safe handling of Albany and the safety, well-being and efficiency of all aboard. 

“I thoroughly enjoyed training my crew to be able to operate our warship at sea in an austere environment,” Vorachek said. “In the Submarine Force, we are afforded a measure of autonomy in command that other units do not share. This allows me to train and develop my crew to meet the mission’s needs.”

Prior to Albany, Vorachek’s sea tours included service aboard three attack and nuclear-armed submarines, and multiple tours ashore, including as Submarine Tactics Instructor at Trident Training Facility and Combat Systems Officer on the staff of Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5. Vorachek also holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado and a Master in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.

Vorachek’s personal awards include Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. He is qualified as a Submarine Warfare Officer and Fleet Marine Force Officer. 

Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises.

The Los Angeles-class submarine is 360 feet long and 33 feet wide, and weighs about 6,900 tons when submerged. Underwater, it can reach speeds in excess of 25 knots.

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