Italy: CTF 69 Holds Change of Command Ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples
Commander, Task Force (CTF) 69 held a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples Feb. 16.
Capt. Wesley Guinn relieved Capt. Mark Davis as commander. During the ceremony, Vice Adm. Frank C. Pandolfe, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, spoke about Davis’ many accomplishments during his tour.
“We know from hard-won experience what it takes to be an effective submarine leader: thorough planning, unflinching technical standards, peerless professional knowledge, and a deep empathy and respect for those who volunteer to serve under the waves; Capt. Mark Davis has been an exceptionally effective commodore, indeed,” said Pandolfe. “When I have in the past congratulated Capt. Davis on his many successes as CTF 69, he was always the first to point to his Sailors and to remind me that it is they who truly earn the success.”
Under Davis’ direction and vision, CTF 69 organized and executed more than 20 submarine-related exercises with foreign navies. As the theater anti-submarine warfare commander, Davis led a resurgence in theater anti-submarine warfare capability. During Operation Odyssey Dawn, Davis expertly directed operations for three submarines and provided leadership vital to ensuring the successful launch of more than 130 submarine launched Tomahawk missiles.
Pandolfe then presented Davis with the Legion of Merit medal for his exceptional performance while serving as the commodore for CTF 69 from July 2010 to February 2012.
Davis reflected on the last 19 months, and the critical roles CTF 69 has played in support of multiple operations. He also noted that his relief was in for an exciting challenge as commodore.
“Wes, you are taking over today what I believe to be the best major command job in the submarine force. You will have some of the most knowledgeable and motivated Sailors in the Navy working for you, and I have no doubt you will come to be as proud of them as I have been everyday for the past 19 months,” said Davis. “You will be working alongside some of the finest Sailors and government civilians anywhere, and I know you and Jane will come to admire their wisdom and cherish their friendship as [my wife] Bea and I have.”
Guinn also addressed those in attendance.
“CTF 69 has ensured the success of many operations, enjoyed an enviable reputation, and all who work for you and with you are observably endeared to you,” said Guinn. “Finally, to the men and women of CTF 69 and to your families, my covenant with you is this: I will count on you to see to the safety, support, and effective employment of our ships and assets assigned, and I will do everything in my power to see to your morale and professional and personal success.”
Davis will next serve in the Office of Legislative Affairs in the Pentagon. Guinn previously served as officer in charge of the CTF 54 detachment Bahrain and Submarine Group 7 director of 5th Fleet submarine operations.
CTF 69 is responsible for planning and coordinating area submarine and anti-submarine warfare operations in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
Naval Today Staff , February 17, 2012