NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. (NNS) -- Capt. Jeff Butcher relieved Capt. Rich Meyer as commanding officer of Navy Reserve Combined Task Force (CTF) 34, Undersea Warfare Operations, during a change of command ceremony held Dec. 2 at Naval Base Point Loma.
Navy Reserve CTF-34 plays a critical role in the Navy’s undersea operations. In Fiscal Year 2016, its officers and enlisted personnel supported 33 coalition, fleet and group level exercises across four CTFs. The command is known for providing exercise and operational planning integration with active duty component staffs.
“The main mission of NR CTF-34 is to provide qualified watchstanders who are experts in the undersea warfare domain to the maritime operations centers around the globe,” said Butcher, who has more than 23 years of service as a submarine officer. “I’m excited about taking command of this excellent team of professionals, and look forward to supporting the fleet.”
The Navy maintains a Submarine Force Reserve Component to provide capable Sailors who seamlessly integrate into active commands worldwide to enhance effectiveness and accomplish Submarine Force missions. The Submarine Force Reserve Component has five mission competencies – Undersea Warfare Operations, Expeditionary Maintenance, Undersea Warfare Development Center (UWDC), Submarine Rescue and Force Protection.
In his civilian capacity, Butcher is the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global science and technology advisor to Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) at Naval Base San Diego. Butcher has served in this capacity since March 2016, where he acts a senior liaison with science and technology organizations in government, academia and industry. He communicates needs and requirements back to the ONR and Naval Research Enterprise to help shape science and technology investments. He also leverages the naval science and technology community to provide rapid technology insertions, long-term investment leverage and surge capability in support of high-priority fleet issues.
“I am constantly amazed at the level of talent and expertise we have on staff at SMWDC,” said Capt. Christopher Barnes, the SMWDC deputy commander. “Jeff Butcher’s knowledge and operational experience in undersea warfare is a huge asset to have on our staff as we develop and update our tactics, techniques and procedures in Surface Anti-Submarine Warfare.”
Having an established relationship directly with the CTF-34 Reserve commanding officer helps SMWDC’s Sea Combat Division get insights in the latest developments and trends seen at the UWDC in theater ASW doctrine and concept development.
“I can’t overemphasize the value in having a personal relationship between commanders in high intensity operations and SMWDC,” said Capt. Tom Williams, director of SMWDC’s Sea Combat Division. “Having Jeff at NR CTF 34 means we already have a built in relationship with that task force commander, should SMWDC need to provide operational support to Third Fleet.”
Previously, Butcher served on three fast attack submarines, on the staff of Naval Special Warfare Group ONE, and most recently as the deputy fleet readiness directorate C4I lead for the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.