JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) visited Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 7.
Rear Adm. Vice Guillory's visit was part of the NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Maclay's professional development series for junior officers, chief petty officers and civilians.
"If you read any of senior Navy leadership's guidelines, they all talk about the importance of professional development, keeping yourself current on world affairs and expanding your horizons," said Maclay. "So we've established the professional development series here and are bringing in some keynote speakers to provide a bigger picture of naval operations and how it affects you as leaders. I can't think of a better way of kicking this off than by hosting Rear Adm. Guillory to offer his insights and knowledge."
As Guillory took the podium, he had the audience give a round of applause and praised Maclay's initiative to bring the group together for the professional development forum.
"This is an impressive initiative and one that I think will serve you well the rest of your career," said Guillory. "Right now, you are learning the skills necessary to perform your operational duties. But the Navy has higher expectations for you - ultimately to lead a joint combined interagency effort. That's the world that we are moving towards."
Guillory then offered a presentation on the role of COMUSNAVSO/C4F operations and capabilities. He talked about naval capabilities and how 4th Fleet combines using Navy assets with other joint, interagency and international partners on key missions throughout the Caribbean, Central and South American region.
"In the past, the U.S. Navy was not as engaged with this vital region. A region that has several common interests as the U.S....All the countries in this AOR (Area of Responsibility) are democratic governments, except for Cuba, so our engagement is a reassurance that democracy is working," said Guillory.
He also noted that the U.S. receives petroleum products from Venezuela and several people working in the United States send money back to their families in the region.
Guillory spent the last portion of his brief discussing the U.S. Navy's humanitarian assistance disaster response during Operation Unified Response in Haiti, as well as thanking the aviation squadrons who directly supported the mission.
"Haiti was the largest humanitarian response in our history with 14,000 Sailors/Marines, 23 ships and 89 aircraft providing help," said Guillory. "Many of you (aviators) had a personal role in that. NAS Jax (Jacksonville) is a first responder, and you've proven you can do it well. The logistics efforts from the air station base were huge. You allowed us to quickly move supplies and civilians with critical expertise that was necessary for the earthquake response."
Guillory finished his remarks by reminding the junior officers and chiefs as to the importance of their chosen career path.
"We live in an exciting world - one that you are going to play a much larger role in. What you are doing is important, but recognize you are leading the way in keeping our Navy the number one sea power in the world," said Guillory.
Following the brief, Guillory was given a tour of the base and flew in a P-3C Orion simulator.
For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visitwww.navy.mil/local/nasjax/.