NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Vice Adm. James Foggo III turned over command of U.S. 6th Fleet and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO to Vice Adm. Christopher W. Grady, during a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples, Oct. 28.
Presiding at the change of command ceremony was Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Allied Joint Force Command Naples Adm. Michelle Howard. In her remarks, Howard praised Foggo's leadership throughout Europe and welcomed Grady to region.
Foggo served as U.S. 6th Fleet Commander; Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; and Deputy Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, from December 2014 to October 2016. His next assignment will be as director, Navy Staff, in the Pentagon.
"Perhaps nowhere else in the world today are the efforts [of] the U.S. Navy more apparent than here. The combined area of responsibility, when you look at it, stretches from the North Pole to the Antarctic; encompasses 105 countries and over 1 billion people. It covers more than 20 million square nautical miles, touching three continents and accounting for approximately two-thirds of the world's coastline."
"So it takes a special leader to cover that swath of territory and wear multiple hats.... Vice Adm. Foggo was the ideal choice to fill these shoes when he was selected to return to Naples and serve as the commander of 6th Fleet; Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; as well as deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. "
"Chris, I promise your time here will be a lot of things, but boring will not be one of them. We face mounting security challenges across the AOR from the Black Sea and Eastern Med, to the recent attempted attack of U.S. forces from the Yemeni coast, and strikes on ISIS in Northern Africa to Gulf of Guinea piracy concerns. I'm thankful that our naval forces in the 6th Fleet have been and are in good hands."
- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Adm. Michelle Howard
"As I leave 'the Three R's' and focus the last bit on the US Navy's presence here in Europe, I remind all of my allies and partners and my friends of a couple of things. First, like many other Americans, I am a staunch trans-Atlanticist! I believe in the alliance. I have been on the continent for eight years of my life and I have served as a NATO commander several times...We are a defensive alliance and we are not looking for a fight, but if you threaten us, we will defend our collective interest...The future is all about allies, partners and coalitions."
- Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet/Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO Vice Adm. James Foggo III
"In all of this we will be vigilant, we will be resilient, and we will continue to build enduring relationships. And these enduring relationships, with our teammates and friends are the critical nodes...These critical nodes -- critical because they energize our lasting commitment to Africa, Europe and NATO -- have been strengthened by a true master (Foggo)."
- Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet / Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, Vice Adm. Christopher W. Grady
* In his departing comments, Vice Adm. Foggo focused on the tenets laid out by Commander, U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Curtis Scaparotti, in what he called "the three R's": the Russians, the radicals and the refugees.
* Foggo, a native of Virginia, thanked his wife, his staff, partners and friends and welcomed Vice Adm. Grady into what he described as both a challenging and rewarding role.
* After officially relieving Foggo, Grady expressed his appreciation to Foggo and the staff for their accomplishments throughout the region.
* Grady a native of Newport, Rhode Island, comes to Naples after serving as Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic.
* U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
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