Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT), visited Naval Station Mayport and BAE Systems Jacksonville, Aug. 10-11.
This is Cooper’s first visit to the area since taking command of SURFLANT June 19.
On Aug. 10, Cooper visited the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64). On Aug. 11, Cooper visited the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43); and the Freedom-variant littoral combat ships USS Little Rock (LCS 9) and USS Indianapolis (LCS 17).
Also, Aug. 11, squadrons and ships in the area were honored to host Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. He visited the Littoral Combat Training Facility; the Freedom-variant littoral combat ships USS Sioux City (LCS 11) and Carney (DDG 64). During the visit, Cooper discussed with SECNAV the importance of regional operations around the world and the relevance of the littoral combat ship.
“Our ships in Mayport are at the forefront of naval and global operations,” said Cooper. “Visiting and engaging with them was an excellent opportunity to see first-hand the work being done by our Sailors to maintain Combat Ready Ships and Battle-Minded Crews.”
The visits incorporated discussions with ship leadership, small group meetings with Sailors, ship walk-arounds and awards presentations. During his time in command, Cooper has emphasized elite performance as the Atlantic Surface Force’s “North Star.”
“We are at our best when we look inward, self-assess and course-correct toward high achievement and standards,” Cooper said. “Great teams reexamine their game plans, even when they are winning.”
SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of 78 ships and 31 shore commands.
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