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Strike Group Oceanography Team San Diego (SGOT-SD) held a virtual ceremony on Jul. 9, to formally recognize its establishment as an echelon five command, reporting to Fleet Weather Center San Diego (FWC-SD).
During the virtual celebration, FWC-SD Commanding Officer, Captain Shane Stoughton introduced SGOT-SD’s first Commanding Officer, Commander Kimberly M. Freitas. This realignment of forces achieves one of Naval Oceanography’s priorities to deploy full-spectrum Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) units of action.
Despite obstacles set forth by the current COVID-19 environment, SGOT-SD created a video of the ceremony with comments from Rear Admiral John A. Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC). Rear Adm. Okon expressed his pride and confidence in the newly established SGOT-SD command.
“The full spectrum METOC Sailor, officer and enlisted, is alive and moving forward. SGOT San Diego is comprised of leaders with strong character and discipline who think, operate and apply full spectrum analysis and prediction to shape decisions, enhance lethality and solve complex warfighting problems faster and better than our adversaries. As you step forward on day one, Distributed Maritime Operations and Dynamic Force Employment need to be in your DNA. You must be prepared. Keep your moral compass steady, take care of each other, focus on building the future and be decisive. For as George Washington said in 1781, ‘That as certain as night succeeds day, without a decisive Navy we can do nothing definitive. And with it, everything honorable and glorious,’” said Rear Adm. Okon. “The American way of life is counting on you, SGOT San Diego. I know you will do us proud!”
Capt. Stoughton has worked closely with Cmdr. Freitas over the past several months as they prepared to establish the new command. He described his appreciation for the hard work that members of both commands have and continue to put into making this milestone a success and a new way forward.
“You are now Plankowners of this very special command. I would argue there is no greater opportunity and no greater responsibility than that. You will be the founders, the Sailors who set the conditions for those that follow. You will establish the culture that inspires others to join this Fight at the front for years to come. Take pride in your new command. You are Strike Group Oceanography Team San Diego,” said Capt. Stoughton at the virtual ceremony.
Cmdr. Freitas comes to SGOT-SD after serving as the Seventh Fleet Oceanographer in Yokosuka, Japan. She described her intentions and expectations for the new command stating, “SGOT San Diego will be the premier sea-going METOC command where Sailors and Junior Officers alike are trained, mentored, and prepared to engage in tactically relevant ways with their embarked ships and their warfare commanders… Our nation is preparing for challenges, big or small, from our adversaries. This command will be ready when called upon, because we are training, innovating, and improving today.”
The ceremony ended with a traditional cake cutting by Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Freitas, and Command Master Chief Vernon Diedrich, along with a socially distanced celebration, allowing all SGOT-SD teams to join in individually.
SGOT-SD generates and deploys multi-spectrum METOC teams to Navy, Joint and Coalition Forces operating in the Third, Fifth and Seventh Fleet areas of responsibility. SGOT-SD’s expanded mission set enables the teams to work directly with afloat commanders across all warfare areas, applying actionable environmental information to improve the Fleet’s overall battlespace awareness.
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