Monday, June 8, 2009
I wanted to take a moment and wish all our Sailors in the Pacific Theatre, a place my family and I have called home for the last 7 1/2 years, a fond farewell. We’ve taken our last tour and moved to U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia and set up a home in the local Hampton Roads area.
Our time in theatre was one of the most memorable times in our 27 year career. To have spent time in Sasebo and Yokosuka Japan, traveled throughout Asia and then a 23 month tour in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the home of U.S. Pacific Fleet, was in a word, “incredible.” The Sailors, Marines, Navy civilians and family members are among the elite of the U.S. Navy and set the tone for the rest of our service. Those operating in the FDNF (Forward Deployed Naval Forces of the Western Pacific) exercise leadership 24/7 every day of the year, and I can’t thank them enough for their daily sacrifices.
As we begin our last tour I’d like to put on the record a few things. As I told the Sailors (Second Chance Sailors on CARL VINSON) the other day when one of them asked me who I worked for, “I work for you. I was hired by Admiral Greenert to report to him and his staff the challenges our Sailors face, the state of the force he commands, and to state the expectations of Sailors to Sailors for the U.S. Navy to remain the very best Navy the world has ever had, but I work for you, the Sailor to hear your concerns and issues and at the end of the day, make life a little better than we found it.” The life of our Sailors in many ways is much better today than it was 20 years ago, but some of the demands we have on our Sailors are the hardest they’ve been in many years. I am committed to identifying areas we need to address and fixing them. The team of Master Chiefs throughout the USFF domain are an incredibly talented and experienced group of professionals and working with them in support of the MCPON, there’s nothing we can’t get done.
So secure for sea Shipmates, we’ve taken in all lines and the course we’ve plotted will take us through Sea State 9. -Fleet sends