Press Statement: Change of Command
U.S. Navy Admiral Michelle Howard greets guests at a reception following a change of command ceremony at the Allied Joint Force Command headquarters, June 7, 2016. Howard became the 29th commander of JFC Naples. (NATO Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mark Patton)
7 Jun 2016
*Remarks as delivered by Admiral Michelle Howard / 7 June / Naples, Italy
So everyone thank you for joining us today.
And as I said in the ceremony earlier, I want to thank Ambassador Phillips, Ambassador Barber, Consul General Barrosse, General Scap (Scaparotti), General Rodriguez, and
the Vice Chief for joining us today. It's an honor to have so many...so many people to come and witness this ceremony.
And I also would like to reaffirm, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Italy and and particularly the community of Naples as our host and for taking care of our forces for so many years.
NATO and the United States have had a presence in southern Italy since the 1950's and we could not fulfill our mission if we hadn't had such a steadfast ally and a supportive community.
So I'd also like to thank Admiral Ferguson and Mrs. Ferguson for the last two years and what they have done for all of our military members, NATO and US, and their families.
As the new commander, I am now privileged to lead the more than 750 NATO members and I represent 20 ally nations and 5 partner nations, and more than 7,000 members of the Navy.
And the alliance and the Navy have common goals: adaptation, collective defense, deterrence, stability, and transparency.
At the core of the Alliance and the U.S. Navy is our people, and one of my top priorities will be to ensure the men and women who represent the world’s greatest alliance are fully trained, equipped, and ready to meet any task.
And I am also deeply committed on the NATO principle of freedom, which is ingrained into the fabric of each of our 28 ally nations.
Once again, thank you coming and I am now ready to take your questions.