NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard visited Sailors aboard Naval Support Activity Naples, March 6, 2015.
While on board, Howard took time to visit U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, served as the keynote speaker at the Women's History Month Symposium, provided remarks for the 2015 Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Flag Course Africa, and conducted an all-hands call for more than 300 Naples-based Sailors.
During the all-hands call, Howard took time to personally recognize Naples-based, forward-deployed Sailors for their service.
"I want to say thank you for all that you do. You work in a theater with a lot of responsibility and challenges, but you guys are rising up to those responsibilities and those challenges magnificently," said Howard, who became the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations July 1, 2014, and is the first woman to ever be named to this position. "I appreciate all that you do for our Navy and our nation and how hard you work while being forward-deployed."
She also acknowledged that the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations (AOO) is currently one of the most dynamic.
"For our Sailors and officers, whether they're on ships or at the U.S. 6th Fleet Headquarters, they are the component that supports contingencies like Syria or emerging ISIL issues in Libya, so it is definitely an exciting theater to be in," said Howard. "And what's great is the mobility of our platforms, which allow us to move in the maritime domain and go where we're needed.
Additionally, she pointed out that the U.S. Navy does not operate alone in an AOO that spans more than 20 million square nautical miles of ocean and includes landmass extending more than 14 million square miles. The collective partnership of the U.S. Navy and its allies and partners comprise a Global Network of Navies.
"One of the great benefits of [the Global Network of Navies], is that we are very similar. The maritime domain pushes us to have ships; pushes us to similar navigation systems, and combat weapons systems," she said. "Now, when we get together, it is easier for us to combine and use the synergy of all those different types of forces and skill sets and warfighting abilities."
NSA Naples is the first stop on Howard's current tour of U.S. and allied military facilities in Europe. In the coming week, she has scheduled visits to Spain and the United Kingdom.
NSA Naples provides support to visiting and forward-deployed U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet units and NATO personnel attached to commands throughout the Naples and Gaeta area.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, join, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/