DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- Capt. Frank X. Castellano turned over command to Capt. Dave Stoner during the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) change of command ceremony onboard Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Va., May 17.
"Frank, you and your team have developed long-term strategies for surface combat systems training,” said Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces, who served as the presiding officer and guest speaker for the event. “You train our Sailors to be warriors and as a result, each day, enhance our surface forces.”
Castellano acknowledged that CSCS was one of the most challenging and rewarding assignments of his naval career.
“What we do at CSCS directly impacts the fleet,” he said. “We train over 38,000 Sailors annually across 15 geographically dispersed learning sites. Each Sailor is provided with the knowledge and skills he or she needs to execute the Navy’s mission so that we remain the best maritime warfighting force in the world.”
Castellano was presented his second Legion of Merit for his numerous training initiatives, including developing and implementing long term strategies for each of his Surface Warfare Enterprise Combat Systems and Deck Mission Area Chair designated warfare areas; leading the development and installation of the Surface Training Advanced Virtual Environment (STAVE) – Combat Systems (CS) effort, which provides multi-purpose reconfigurable training systems to support both Officer and Enlisted tactical and technical training; guiding the CSCS domain though the initial and follow-on efforts for Block Learning and Ready, Relevant Learning (RRL), which resulted in the execution of the RRL-compliant training continuum for the sonar technician surface (STG) rating that already has increased fleet knowledge, readiness, and manning and will also enable the operations specialist rating to meet the goal of being the first rating to achieve RRL status under the advanced development construct in fiscal year 2019; and spearheading the development of the Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) / Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT), which delivers tactical watchstanders a state-of-the art training lab to detect, control, and engage simulated modern threats in challenging environments.
Brown also commented on the future of CSCS under new leadership.
“I value command over everything else and with command, comes huge accountability and trust,” he said. "Dave, you have the right energy, drive, and enthusiasm for this job and I think you will embrace your duty as commanding officer and CSCS will continue to be a great contributor to surface combat systems training.”
Most recently, Stoner served as the commanding officer for USS Monterey (CG 61). Before Monterey, he served as both the fleet liaison and chief of staff for the Missile Defense Agency, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Program Executive Office, which is across the street from CSCS.
“After commanding a ship, there was no other job more relevant to the fleet that I could think of than here at the helm of CSCS,” he explained. “Since I arrived at CSCS, I have witnessed a staff of military and civilians who work together to achieve critical goals on a daily basis. I am looking forward to becoming part of this global organization and continuing to plot a course for training the surface Navy’s warfighters.”
Castellano, who will assume duties as an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., thanked his staff for supporting the CSCS mission.
“Each and every day, CSCS develops and delivers surface ship combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority,” he said. “CSCS is the leader in the training realm because of you. I am humbled to have served with you all. Thank you for your drive, determination, passion for excellence, and most importantly, your dedication to the future of our Sailors.”
CSCS headquarters' staff oversees 14 learning sites and detachments located throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, and Japan and manages and operates a Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) training division in Rota, Spain. CSCS provides over 538 courses, awards 114 different Navy Enlisted Classifications (NECs), and trains over 38,000 Sailors a year. CSCS delivers specialized training for Officer and Enlisted Sailors required to tactically operate, maintain, and employ shipboard and shore-based weapons, sensors, and command and control systems utilized in today's Navy.
For information on the Center for Surface Combat System, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/cscs/
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