NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Commodore Jeffrey Wolstenholme assumed command of the newly established Commander, Task Force 64 during a ceremony held on U.S. Naval Support Activity Naples, Capodichino, March 24.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. Fleet Forces Command established CTF 64 to create a command focused on Ballistic Missile Defensein Europe.
"By establishing this task force, U.S. 6th Fleet is aligning our organization to better address the changing threats in Europe. [Capt. Wolstenholme] will be formally identified as the U.S. ballistic missile defense expert in his position as commander of Sixth Fleet's Task Force 64 and as Commander of NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defense Task Force."
- Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, Vice Adm. James Foggo III
"The United States made a commitment to our NATO partners called the European Phased Adaptive Approach, to help defend NATO Europe against Ballistic Missile threats from the Middle East. And, as part of this commitment to NATO, the Navy has established this new Task Force to be the operational commander for Aegis Ashore and the tactical commander directing our Ballistic Missile Defense forces in defense of NATO Europe."
- Commander, Task Force 64, Commodore Jeffery Wolstenholme
The establishment of CTF64 is in response to countering potential ballistic missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area and improving the defense capabilities of Europe.
CTF 64 will be responsible for executing operational and tactical integrated air and missile defense for NAVEUR-NAVAF, while also providing direct support for Aegis BMD planning to Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Commander, Allied Air Command.
The command's BMD mission seeks to defend NATO allies and U.S. Interests and deployed forces throughout Europe with a commitment to regional security.
European Phased Adaptive Approach is the U.S. national contribution to the NATO BMD mission. Naval assets that fall under the EPAA umbrella are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Donald Cook (DDG 65) USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS Ross (DDG 71).
Also supporting EPAA are Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System in Deveselu, Romania. AAMDS Romania reached technical capability declaration in December 2015, and is currently working toward operational certification. A second AAMDS is scheduled to be built in Redzikowo, Poland, with ground breaking sometime in 2016.
CTF 64 was established by NAVEUR-NAVAF and U.S. Fleet Forces Command, as directed by the Chief of Naval Operations.
NAVEUR-NAVAF, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/