SURFOR Conducts Ombudsman Assembly 
By CNSF Public Affairs 
SAN DIEGO – Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, spoke to a group of 100 at Naval Station, San Diego, May 14 during the third Surface Forces (SURFOR) Ombudsman Assembly of 2008.

This was the first time Curtis addressed the group since assuming command of SURFOR in April.

The 39 ombudsmen in attendance were joined by command leadership from various SURFOR commands to gather information to provide the best possible support to Sailors and their families.

”I appreciate everything that you do on a daily basis,” Curtis said. “I am intent on supporting our commands, our ships, our Sailors and their families.”

Mrs. Towanda Curtis also took time to introduce herself and the SURFOR ombudsmen team, consisting of Annemarie Gumataotao, Susan Hare and Stephanie Du Bose, to everyone in attendance.

“We are here to support each and every one of you in any and every way possible,” Mrs. Curtis said. “I am very happy to be here and look forward to working with each of you in the future.”

Ombudsman assemblies throughout the year allow the ombudsmen to network with each other and to share personal experiences and lessons learned.

”The support from Vice Adm. Curtis and his wife shows our surface ombudsmen that our leaders care about us and value the work that we do,” stated Du Bose. “The honor of their time shows the dedication they feel to supporting Navy families.”

Curtis answered questions from guests regarding individual augmentation support programs and resources, maritime strategy, humanitarian missions, new ship support initiatives currently being implemented, and quality of life issues to include task force work/life balance.

“Ombudsmen are the type of people who want to be involved in the command and have a true instinct for helping others,” stated Du Bose. “This is not a paid job, but it is one of the most important roles a Navy spouse can fill.”
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