WHITE BEACH NAVAL FACILITY OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Rear Adm. (sel.) Victor Guillory relieved Rear Adm. Gary R. Jones as commander, Amphibious Group 1/Task Force (CTF) 76 Oct. 1, in a change of command ceremony at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan.
Jones took command of the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious force in July of 2003. During his tenure, CTF 76 assets participated in countless joint and multinational exercises in the Pacific area of operations, were called on to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and continued fine-tuning the first Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) forward deployed naval forces, helping shape the future of expeditionary warfare.
"During my tour here, I have truly been fortunate to witness and be part of the many achievements of our Navy Marine Corps team of amphibious force, U.S. 7th fleet," said Jones. "To date, we have successfully completed more than 30 multinational exercises and validated the Fleet Response Plan by successfully deploying the Essex (LHD 2) ARG [amphibious ready group] and 31st MEU [Marine expeditionary unit] to the 5th Fleet AOR [area of operation] for operations in support of global war on terrorism. The diversity and selective genius of each Sailor and Marine in our amphibious force team make that possible."
Jones' next assignment is commander, Naval Service Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill. He will also be commander, Navy Region Midwest.
Guillory said he is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of his new command.
"I am tremendously impressed with the superb caliber of Sailors and Marines of Amphibious Group 1 and the culture of readiness here in the 7th Fleet," Guillory said. "My wife and I are thrilled to join the Amphibious Group 1 Navy and Marine Corps team."
Having three different titles, commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet/Amphibious Group 1/Task Force 76 is responsible for conducting expeditionary warfare operations to support a full range of theater contingencies, ranging from humanitarian and disaster relief operations, to full combat operations. CTF 76 is the commander, U.S. 7th Fleet's primary Navy advisor on amphibious matters in the 7th Fleet area of operations, and conducts a number of bi- and multilateral exercises each year in support of Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet's Cooperative Engagement Strategy.
White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa is the flag headquarters of the command and control staff, Task Force 76, for the Essex Amphibious Ready Group.
For related news, visit the Commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. 7th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/ctf76.