USS Ronald Reagan Hosts Change of Command Ceremony
Vice Adm. Kenneth E. Floyd relieved Vice Adm. Gerald R. Beaman as commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet during a change of command and retirement ceremony held on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) at Naval Air Station North Island, June 3.
During the ceremony, Beaman, retired from active duty after 35 years honorable naval service. He had assumed command of U.S. 3rd Fleet in April 2011, and certified 5 Carrier Strike Groups, 3 Amphibious Readiness Groups and 109 independent deployers that had conducted operations and humanitarian missions during deployments to the 4th, 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.
Beaman also served as commander of the Combined Task Force (CCTF) during the world’s largest maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, leading twenty-two nations, 40 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel all operating in and around the Hawaiian islands.
Beaman reflected on his career while thanking his mentors, peers and the men and women of the U.S. Navy.
“They are the finest group of leaders and warriors that I have served with,” said Beaman. “…I continue to be humbled by the professionalism in which they command Third Fleet Sailors.”
Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as the guest speaker.
“Walking in the footsteps of Adm. ‘Bull’ Halsey, who founded Third Fleet back in 1943, [Beaman] applied the same collegial but high standard of leadership to the vital role that this team plays in both training and operating our forces in the vast Pacific theater,” said Winnefeld.
Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, officiated the ceremony and presented Beaman with the Distinguished Service Medal recognizing him for his exceptional meritorious service to the government of the United States.
“He has ensured our forces are ready to meet the demand of this uncertain world we live in,” said Haney.
Floyd, whose most recent assignment was as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems, relieved Beaman and assumed command of U.S. Third Fleet.
“We are here to hold out the hand of friendship and cooperation to our international partners, friends and allies as we build partnerships at sea,” said Floyd. “Our emphasis will continue to be providing realistic, relevant training to naval forces preparing to head West, while leading naval forces operating in the Eastern Pacific and being the voice for the fleet as we develop the Navy for the future.”
Throughout Floyd’s career, he has served in several aviation squadrons as a naval flight officer. He participated in Operation Desert Storm while serving as a department head with the Starfighters of VF-33. Floyd subsequently served at sea as the executive officer of USS Constellation (CV 64) and deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing 7 where he participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, later serving as the air wing’s commander. Ashore, Floyd served at Naval Space Command as aide to the commander and later as flag lieutenant of Commander, Carrier Group 8. He has served flag tours as director, Aviation and Aircraft Carrier Plans and Requirements (OPNAV N880) and deputy director, Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N88B) prior to assuming command of Strike Force Training Pacific in February 2009.
Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
Press Release, June 4, 2013; Image: Navy