DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- During a change of command ceremony at the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC), onboard Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Virginia, Capt. Pete Galluch turned over command to Capt. Dave Zook September 13.
Capt. Frank X. Castellano, commanding officer for the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), was the guest speaker at the event.
"Under Pete's leadership, ATRC has not only thrived but excelled," said Castellano. "He and his staff trained more than 2400 Aegis Fire Controlmen (FC), 1700 future surface department heads, and 500 prospective commanding and executive officer students. He created a 24 hour overlapping five-shift schedule and increased FC student throughput by 25 percent. In addition, Pete and his team were instrumental in opening the new ATRC wing, an important asset for the fleet and our country, and bringing the training community together to celebrate 30 years of AEGIS on October 21, 2015."
Galluch explained that he had several choices where he could assume command in 2014.
"But ATRC was really the only choice for me," he said. "ATRC is arguably the premier training facility in the Surface Force. It is directly connected to the fleet in the most critical ways. This schoolhouse is the foundation of the Surface Force's Integrated Air and Missile Defense readiness."
Galluch was presented his second Legion of Merit for many of his accomplishments at ATRC. Part of the award citation extolled the captain as, "the driving force in Navy Integrated Air and Missile Defense improvement by leading stakeholders to improve and advance Integrated Air and Missile Defense initiatives across the Fleet; through his drive and inspiration, he personally moved his staff beyond outdated business practices by establishing procedural compliance standards; he and his supply team systematically tracked thousands of AEGIS parts, returning parts valued more than 53 million dollars to the Navy Supply System."
Castellano also commented on the future of ATRC under new leadership.
"Capt. Zook has not traveled far," said Castellano. "Most recently, he served as the deputy for the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Detachment Dahlgren, right across the street from us. As deputy, he helped deliver the critical lessons learned from combat operations in the Red Sea to the fleet and led the development and fielding of tools and tactical guidance to address critical Combat Identification interoperability, advanced Ballistic Missile Defense Capability training and employment, and Naval Integrated Fire Control employment. I am confident Dave will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to ATRC and continue to be a strong leader in the surface combat systems community."
Zook said he is honored to become part of the AEGIS community.
"At the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center, we are the forging fire to mold the most important element of our Navy's warfighting success, our Sailors and our team," he said. "I look forward to leading ATRC."
Galluch, who will assume duties later this month as the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) N83 Fleet Readiness and Training branch head, praised his staff before his departure.
"You met every challenge and task," he said. "Increasing throughput and quality simultaneously, bringing new capabilities on line while maintaining our legacy force training, and delivered an impressive record of personal development and advancement. You met your mission and gave back to the Navy the equivalent of more than twice the annual operating budget. It's been an entire command effort. I used to brag that I went to college in a national park. As I turn over with Capt. Zook, I'll now be able to brag that I led and served at a national treasure."
AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) falls under the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) command. ATRC provides enlisted personnel with the knowledge, ability, and skill to operate and maintain the AEGIS Combat System through timely, effective, and integrated training delivered across Sailors' careers. ATRC also provides officers the knowledge, ability, and skill to operate, employ, and assess the readiness of the AEGIS and Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) combat systems aboard surface warships. In our ever-advancing world, ATRC utilizes a blended learning solution that includes standard classrooms, hands-on labs, simulations, as well as computer-based and interactive courseware training while still maintaining the training mission for the legacy AEGIS fleet.
For more information on AEGIS Training and Readiness Center, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/cscs/atrc/
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