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The Lemoore Navy News
Lee Central California Newspapers

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) — U.S. 6th Fleet and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony aboard the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) in Naples, Italy, March 1.

Vice Adm. Christopher W. Grady was relieved by Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, while Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Adm. James G. Foggo III presided over the ceremony and delivered remarks about Grady's time as commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO.

"In times of triumph or turbulence, rough seas or calm, U.S. 6th Fleet is operating throughout the region protecting our homeland from attack, safeguarding our economic prosperity by ensuring common domains remain open, preserving our global influence, and advancing our interests to include defending our allies from military aggression," said Foggo. "Thanks to the leadership and stewardship of Vice Adm. Grady, U.S. 6th Fleet and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO are engaged, postured, and ready with credible forces to assure, deter, and defend in an increasingly complex security environment."

Foggo continued by highlighting some of Grady's achievements as commander, U.S. 6th Fleet.

"In the 490 days he's been at the helm, Grady planned and executed Operation Inherent Resolve strikes from Truman, Ike, and Bush - three aircraft carriers; neutralized violent extremists of Sirte, Libya; launched 59 TLAM missiles against the Assad regime for use of chemical weapons in Syria, providing immediate and credible options to the commander in chief, our president; and certified our Maritime Operations Center. By the way, it was evaluated as the best in the Navy."

Foggo then turned his focus to Vice Adm. Franchetti, emphasizing her ability to take the helm as the new commander, U.S. 6th Fleet.

"You're the perfect choice at the perfect time to lead U.S. 6th Fleet," said Foggo. "I know you're bringing your expertise and experience and I look forward to your continued success and the success of U.S. 6th Fleet. You will be at the front lines in strengthening our competitive advantage. The Navy and the nation are counting on you."

After the orders were read, Franchetti took the opportunity to thank her predecessor and address her new staff.

"It is truly an honor to be standing before you today as the new commander of U.S. 6th Fleet and Striking and Support Forces NATO," said Franchetti. "I have seen you in action these past few weeks and I am impressed. I look forward to serving alongside such a dedicated team of professionals and your families. Our ships, submarines and planes are the war machines, but our people are the engines, heart and soul that make them go and will lead us to victory."

"I ask you to give your best every day and I promise to do the same," added Franchetti.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, to enable enduring relationships and increase vigilance and resilience in Europe and Africa.

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