Chief of Naval Operations, MCPON Visit Naval Station Rota, Spain

Chief of Naval Operations, MCPON Visit Naval Station Rota, Spain

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens visited Naval Station Rota, Spain, Oct. 16, to evaluate Rota’s progress toward homeporting four destroyers there as part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) beginning in 2014.

Greenert and Stevens specifically looked at the base’s ability to host the four ships, their crew and families and the base’s ability to support the ships’ missions.
“We have to get this right. This is really our first big step forward in the new defense strategy,” said Greenert in regard to FDNF.

The defense strategy calls for a realignment of U.S. forces to build a stronger presence in the Asia-Pacific region, but according to Greenert that doesn’t lessen the Rota FDNF mission.

“Although we have a new defense strategy, and it does talk about rebalancing to the Asian-Pacific region, we must, and we will maintain our commitment to NATO,” said Greenert.

Moving the four destroyers to Rota will enable the rest of the strategy, according to Greenert. “Our eye is first on this ball, to getting this right in Rota,” said Greenert.

A key to success for FDNF Rota, according to Greenert, is having the right support elements in place. “We’ve got to be sure we’ve got the family support right here. This is very important.”

During an all-hands call with Rota Sailors, Greenert said that preparations for FNDF are progressing as they should be. He also emphasized the importance of the good and longstanding relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Spain, and he thanked the families and Sailors stationed in Rota for serving there.

Naval Today Staff,October 18, 2012; Image: US Navy