US 5th Fleet AOR Welcomes VCNO

US 5th Fleet AOR Welcomes VCNO

Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) and Fleet Master Chief for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education visited the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), July 28-30.

During Adm. Mark Ferguson’s and Fleet Master Chief April Beldo’s three-day tour, they visited Sailors aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Squall (PC 7), and USS Gladiator (MCM 11) and met with Sailors and family members of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain.

On the first day of his trip, Ferguson met with NSA Bahrain’s Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) at NAVCENT headquarters, where he led a discussion about the challenges and stresses that Sailors are faced with in this AOR. Ferguson commended their efforts and charged them with finding innovative ways to reach their fellow Sailors.

Ferguson visited Nimitz on his second day and then held an all-hands call for the Sailors of NAVCENT and NSA Bahrain, July 30. He covered topics including the importance of sustained forward presence as well as sexual assault and suicide. Ferguson made note of all the hard work the Sailors are putting forth and urged them to keep it up.

“Your enthusiasm has really carried over during my three days here,” said Ferguson. “I just want to thank all of you for the terrific job that you do as ambassadors for the Navy, as representatives of the very best of the American people. I’ve received nothing but compliments since I’ve been here about your performance, not only day-to-day, but as representatives to the country of Bahrain.”

After the all-hands call, Ferguson met with family members to discuss safety and quality of life issues in Bahrain. He then visited Squall and Gladiator to talk with the Sailors of the forward-deployed ships.

Beldo held all-hands calls with chiefs and first class petty officers on Nimitz as well as at NSA Bahrain where she spoke about personal accountability and her expectations for enlisted leadership in the Navy. She also answered questions about the current status of the Navy and her vision for the future.

“Today’s Navy faces many challenges, and strong leadership is the best weapon against those challenges,” said Beldo. “Our priority needs to be training and equipping our Sailors, especially those who are forward deployed.”

NAVCENT is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. NAVCENT’s mission is to conduct maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts, and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Press Release, August 1, 2013; Image: US Navy