WHITE BEACH, Okinawa (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Victor G. Guillory passed the mantle of command to Rear Adm. Carol M. Pottenger Nov. 20 during a change of command ceremony.
"I am humbled to stand before you today," Potenger said. "I thank the Naval leadership for giving me this opportunity to command the amphibious forces of [U.S. 7th Fleet] and take up this key position on point, in the Pacific."
Looking around the well deck of USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) the impact Guillory made during his tour was seen on the Sailor's faces. The faces of not only American commanders, but those of Japanese, Korean and Philippine civilians, as well as representatives from the Japan Self-Defense Force, came to pay tribute to Guillory.
"[Admiral Guillory] has carried the mantle of peace to more nations than any other commander," said Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Doug Crowder. "But he showed his character; he even valued the life of a stray cat during the Tsunami relief efforts in 2004."
Guillory did much during his tenure as CTF 76, including managing the name change from Amphibious Group 1 to ESG 7.
"I will take much away from this tour as well as knowledge of amphibious operations," said Guillory. "My only regret is that I did not learn more Japanese during my tour."
ESG 7/CTF 76 can look forward to maintaining operational commitments in the Pacific region.
"Rear Admiral Guillory made clear in his remarks, the success of this command is dependent on many other factors, including our critical relationship with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force," said Pottenger. "Admiral Koda - I will continue Vic's [Guillory's] focus on positive cooperation across the spectrum in support of our mutual goals."
Expeditionary Strike Group 7/ Task Force 76 is the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force and is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.
For related news, visit the Commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. 7th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/ctf76/.