Curtis Assumes Command of Naval Surface Forces and Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
SAN DIEGO – Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, assumed command of Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) and Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) on March 18, 2008. Curtis becomes the third SURFOR commander, and the fifteenth commander of SURFPAC.
Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, Commander, Naval Surface Force, Atlantic Fleet, (SURFLANT) has served as the acting commander of SURFOR since the retirement of Vice Adm. Terry Etnyre on Feb. 29.
“It is my honor and privilege to assume command of the Naval Surface Force - the finest fighting ships and Sailors in the world. I am immensely proud to be the new community leader. We have made tremendous improvements in our processes and alignment; now we must take advantage of that hard work and to use innovation to continue improving our warfighting readiness” said Curtis. “Our goal is to support the Chief of Naval Operations’ priorities, focusing on increasing professionalism on the waterfront, and bringing new ships to the fleet at the highest standards of readiness.”
As the type commander for all U. S. Navy surface ships, SURFOR provides operational commanders with trained warships and Sailors ready to carry out a wide variety of missions. Curtis highlighted some of the operations in which the Surface Navy has recently been involved.
“Our Surface Forces have been actively supporting The Maritime Strategy around the globe - providing humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh in the wake of a devastating cyclone, evacuating U.S. citizens from war-torn Lebanon, suppressing piracy, conducting maritime security operations preventing our enemies from using the sea to operate, and providing the cornerstone of our nation’s ballistic missile defense program. At the same time, we also have built strong relationships with our allies and emerging partners, including the incredibly successful Africa Partnership Station. In every major operation the U.S. Navy has participated in the past few years, Surface Warriors were there, they were ready, and they made the difference,” said Curtis.
Curtis comes to SURFOR after serving as Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and the Deputy SURFOR Commander for the past two years. During his tour in Norfolk, improving warfighting readiness was his primary objective.
As the Deputy SURFOR Commander, Curtis also served as the Chief Readiness Officer (CRO) for the Surface Warfare Enterprise (SWE). The SWE is a SURFOR initiative to use business processes and behavior to increase warfighting readiness while driving down costs. As the SWE continues to mature, one of the most noteworthy accomplishments has been the establishment of eight Class Squadrons (CLASSRONs). They provide direct support to the commanders, and are responsible to the CRO for manning, training, equipping, maintaining, and sustaining ships by class for the entire force.
Naval Surface Forces consist of 159 surface ships of the U.S. Pacific and Atlantic Fleets which are based in: San Diego; Pearl Harbor; Norfolk and Little Creek, Va.; Mayport, Fl.; Ingleside, Texas; Everett, Wash.; and overseas in Bahrain, Italy, and Japan.