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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

SURFLANT Hosts Commander’s Training Symposium

by SURFLANT Public Affairs
23 July 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (July 23, 2021) Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and the Navy’s “Old Salt,” delivers remarks at the annual Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) two-day leadership training symposium at Drexler Manor Conference Center on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, July 23. The event emphasized SURFLANT’s top priority, which is to provide combat-ready ships and battle-minded crews that are prepared to fight and win operations in a strategic competition. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Milham/Released)
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | SURFLANT Hosts Commander’s Training Symposium VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (July 23, 2021) Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and the Navy’s “Old Salt,” delivers remarks at the annual Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) two-day leadership training symposium at Drexler Manor Conference Center on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, July 23. The event emphasized SURFLANT’s top priority, which is to provide combat-ready ships and battle-minded crews that are prepared to fight and win operations in a strategic competition. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Milham/Released)
 Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (COMNAVSURFLANT), Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, hosted an annual, two-day leadership training symposium July 22-23, at Drexler Manor Conference Center on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek.
 
With McLane coaching to elite performance, the conference provided a venue for surface force leaders to focus on the symposium’s theme, “hard work breeds self-sufficiency.” The event emphasized Surface Force Atlantic’s top priority, which is to provide combat-ready ships and battle-minded crews that are prepared to fight and win operations in a great power competition.
 
McLane stressed the importance of uniting as a leadership group to collaborate and share fresh ideas for maintaining focus on communications and readiness.
 
“Getting together in this setting allows the experts to better engage with us,” said McLane. “While you are all the best leaders on the waterfront, we also need to have the best information to better serve our Sailors and ships.”

He added that a key objective of the gathering was to empower leaders to integrate newly-found knowledge at their own commands.

“This [symposium] is centered around educating you, but it is up to you to implement what you learn here.”

Throughout the symposium, leaders presented briefs, discussed numerous topics and answered questions regarding warrior toughness, resiliency, maintenance, self-sufficiency, and the recently established Surface Maintenance Operations Center (S-MOC).

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Christopher Grady, provided keynote remarks about self-sufficiency and how proud he is of the fleet’s steady drumbeat of reliability, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
“There are a lot of serendipitous things that have come out of [the pandemic],” said Grady. “We’ve learned more about self-sufficiency and what our Sailors can do,” he said.
 
Grady also emphasized the importance of building an elite culture attitude Navy-wide, stressing how being proud of one’s vocation promotes “competency, character and connectedness.”
 
Nearly 100 surface leaders, including flag officers, commodores, commanding officers, command senior enlisted leaders and SURFLANT staff members, gathered to discuss the manning, training and equipping of the surface force.
 
Capt. Jeff Baker, commander, Naval Surface Squadron 5, in Bahrain, traveled halfway around the world to attend the symposium and expressed that it was well worth the trip.
 
“It’s been fantastic to get back [stateside] and engage with the different commanding officers and destroyer squadron commanders,” he said.
 
Baker especially appreciated the discussions on maintaining toughness, noting, “the warrior mentality concept - I’m sold! I’ll take that back to the Bahrain waterfront.”
 
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 nearly 80 ships, 15 pre-commissioning units, and more than 30 shore commands.
 
For more SURFLANT news and photos, visit facebook.com/SURFLANT, www.surflant.usff.navy.mil, and Twitter - @surflant.


 
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