PHILIPPINE SEA – Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet, visited the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) during which he toured the ship and met with officers and chief petty officers (CPO).
Alexander said his visit to Stethem marks the start of a continuing relationship. As the strike group commander, he expects to know and understand his ships and plans to use regular visits as a tool to facilitate a transparent relationship.
While aboard, he toured Stethem’s pilot house, combat information center, engineering central control station, and mess decks before starting his dialogues with the officers and chiefs.
In the wardroom, Alexander discussed his command philosophy both professionally and personally. He stressed the importance of the Navy and its war-fighting capabilities, particularly in 7th Fleet area of operations (AOR).
“Let there be no mistake, we are the United States Navy. There is no greater Navy. We are the cavalry on call and that’s just what we do,” said Alexander.
With the CPO mess, the admiral spoke about his high expectations for all 7th Fleet CPOs emphasizing that they run the Navy, but with that power comes responsibility and accountability.
“It is refreshing to hear a senior officer truly appreciate and recognize the hard work and dedication that comes from the CPO mess,” said Senior Chief Gunners Mate Andrew Montgomery. “Stethem’s chiefs will certainly continue to uphold the admiral’s standards and strive to exceed them.”
Alexander is a distinguished pilot with more than 3,200 flight hours, 705 carrier-arrested landings, and instructor duties. His previous command tours include the “Black Ravens" of VAQ-135, USS Juneau (LPD 10), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). He relieved Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery Oct. 5 during a ceremony aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) in port Guam.
Stethem is on patrol in the 7th Fleet AOR supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.