Change Of Command (June 3, 2011)
SAN DIEGO (June 3, 2011) - Sailors, Marines and guests attend a ceremony where Vice Adm. D. C. Curtis is relieved by Vice Adm. Richard Hunt as Commander, Naval Surface Forces and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet. Hunt is the fourth commander to assume both titles. (U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeffrey Militzer/RELEASED)
Hunt Takes Command of SURFOR
By Surface Forces Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO – Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis was relieved Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt as Commander, Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, during a ceremony at SURFOR headquarters, June 3.

During his tour at SURFOR, Curtis established the “Back to Basics” initiative to stress the importance of building a culture of professionalism on the deck plates. Curtis is also credited with reversing optimal manning, improving shipboard training and increasing maintenance funding which directly improved overall warfighting readiness in the near term, while also ensuring the surface fleet gets to expected service life.

“I am very happy to have had the opportunity to work with the fantastic Sailors, their families and civilians throughout the surface force; they truly are America’s finest,” said Curtis. “For three years, we have worked together to ensure our ships are ready for tasking and answered the call in support of our maritime strategy. I am very proud of what we have accomplished.”

Curtis, and his wife Towanda, were also strong advocates for family support during his tour. “My wife committed herself to ensuring our family readiness increased by fostering a peerless ombudsman network, waterfront support resources for families in need, and support groups for both surface officer and enlisted spouses. Her view has always been that family readiness equals operational readiness,” said Curtis.

The ceremony marks the end of a three-year command tour for Curtis, who is a 1976 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. His command tours include USS Wainwright (CG 28), USS Donald B. Beary (FFT 1085), Destroyer Squadron 14, Naval Surface Group 2, and Commander Strike Group 11. Curtis reported to SURFOR after a tour as Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and will retire after a 35-year Naval career.

Vice Adm. Hunt was commissioned as an ensign in February 1976 through the Officer Candidate School Program in Newport, RI. He assumes command of SURFOR with extensive command experience, including tours as commanding officer aboard USS Crommelin (FFG 37), USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), Commander, Carrier Strike Group 6, and Commander, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, United States Central Command. He most recently served as Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet.

“I am honored to take command of Naval Surface Forces,” said Hunt. “I am keenly aware and thankful for the incredibly hard work our surface Navy performs day in and day out to protect our nation. Our U.S. Navy Surface Warriors are the foundation of the greatest Navy in the world and remain ready to deliver credible combat power, effectively, whenever and wherever needed.

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