The former commander of U.S. 6th Fleet has formally taken charge of U.S. Fleet Forces Command on Friday, according to a statement from the command.
Adm. Phil Davidson took charge of Fleet Forces in a, “small ceremony was officiated by teleconference by Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM),” according to the statement.
Davidson took command from Vice Adm. Nora Tyson — deputy Fleet Forces commander who had been temporarily in command since late November and will return to the number two role.
The ceremony follows the delayed Senate confirmation of the new U.S. 6th Fleet commander, Vice Adm. James Foggo. He took command of 6th Fleet on Dec. 14th.
The original Fleet Forces change of command was scheduled for Nov. 24, 2014.
Now Davidson will over see the new Optimized Fleet Response Plan (O-FRP) originally proposed by Gortney.
The plan will align deployments of Carrier Strike Group into a 36-month training and deployment cycle resulting in eight-month deployments for CSGs. Under the current plan, the new O-FRP will begin in Fiscal Year 2015.
“We will continue the great work that began here,” Davidson said in the statement.
“It is our job… to implement the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, and to improve our ability to generate force readiness and develop force warfighting capability in the rapidly evolving global environment.”
Davidson is a career surface warfare officer who commanded guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG-64) and frigate USS Taylor (FFG-50). He also commanded Carrier Strike Group Eight and the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (CSG) in 2010.
The following is the full statement from U.S. Fleet Forces released on Dec. 19, 2014.
NORFOLK, Va. – Adm. Phil Davidson assumed command of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) today following his promotion to the rank of Admiral. The small ceremony was officiated by teleconference by Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Gortney was previously the commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command until 21 November of this year.
The acting commander, Vice Adm. Nora W. Tyson, returns to her duties as the USFF Deputy Commander.
Davidson, a surface warfare officer and a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, has served in a variety of command positions, including most recently as Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, as well as deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Navy Forces Africa. His previous assignments as a flag officer in Norfolk include duties as the Director of Maritime Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces from February 2012 to September 2013, and command of Carrier Strike Group EIGHT/EISENHOWER Strike Group from August 2009 to September 2010.
In his remarks Davidson outlined his vision for Fleet Forces Command and thanked his predecessor, Adm. Gortney, for having framed the organizing principles, the analytical underpinnings, and the fleet processes that generate fleet readiness.
“We will continue the great work that began here” he went on to say.
“The absolute mandate, indeed the mission of the United States Fleet Forces Command, is to make the Fleet ready to fight and win – both today and tomorrow. It is our job now to deepen our understanding of the Readiness Kill Chain, to implement the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, and to improve our ability to generate force readiness and develop force warfighting capability in the rapidly evolving global environment. If we do these things, we can indeed say that the fleet is ready to fight and win.”
For more information about U.S. Fleet Forces Command visit www.cffc.navy.mil.