USFF to Conduct Change of Command Ceremony

USFF to Conduct Change of Command Ceremony

Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., will be relieved by Adm. William E. Gortney as Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) in a ceremony on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) at 2 p.m., Friday, Sept 14.

Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, will be guest speaker for the event.

Harvey, a surface warfare officer and a 1973 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, assumed command of U.S. Fleet Forces Command in July 2009. In his more than three-year tenure, he led the command with a strategic focus supporting the nation’s maritime strategy through operational readiness, training effectiveness, and professional and personal development.

During his distinguished career Harvey has served in a variety of sea and shore billets. He is the 54th officer to serve as the Chief of Naval Personnel and he commanded USS David R. Ray (DD 971), USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight/Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group.

Gortney, a naval aviator and 1977 graduate of Elon College in N.C., becomes the 33rd commander of USFF. He has served in a variety of command positions afloat and ashore, including most recently as Director, Joint Staff for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command; Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Forces Maritime Component Commanders. He also commanded Carrier Strike Group-10, on the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.

USFF was originally established as Commander In Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt with Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans assuming command Jan. 1, 1906 aboard his flagship the battleship USS Maine (BB 10). In October 2006, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Fleet Forces Command became U.S. Fleet Forces Command in a ceremony held aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

United States Fleet Forces Command supports both the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and Combatant Commanders worldwide by providing responsive, relevant, sustainable Naval forces ready-for-tasking. The command provides operational and planning support to Combatant Commanders and integrated warfighter capability requirements to the CNO. Additionally, U.S. Fleet Forces Command serves as the CNO’s designated Executive Agent for Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (ATFP), Individual Augmentees (IA), and Sea Basing.

In collaboration with U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Fleet Forces Command organizes, mans, trains, maintains, and equips Navy forces, develops and submits budgets, and executes readiness and personnel accounts to develop both required and sustainable levels of Fleet readiness. Additionally, the command serves as the unified voice for fleet training requirements and policies to generate combat-ready Navy forces.

Naval Today Staff, September 13, 2012; Image: US Navy