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Vice Adm. Kurt Tidd Tapped to Lead U.S. Southern Command

Then-Rear Adm. Kurt Tidd, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet, speaks with service members aboard High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift in 2012. US Navy Photo

Then-Rear Adm. Kurt Tidd, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet, speaks with service members aboard High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift in 2012. US Navy Photo

The current assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and career surface warfare officer Vice Adm. Kurt Tidd has been nominated to lead U.S. Southern Command, according to a Thursday Pentagon announcement.
If his nomination is approved by the Senate he will be promoted to admiral and become the U.S. military lead in the ongoing anti-trafficking mission in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific.

SOUTHCOM, one of the least resourced combatant commands, relies mostly on the Coast Guard to execute the law enforcement missions since the Navy has decommissioned its last Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates which were the Navy’s workhorse in the region.

The service has promised new platforms like the Joint High Speed Vessel and the Littoral Combat Ship to pick up the enforcement slack remaining after the departure of the Perrys.

Tidd, the former commander of U.S. 4th Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command is the Navy’s Old Salt, the oldest surface warfare trained officer on active duty.

He is a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and at-sea commands include Carrier Strike Group 8 centered on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), the Spruance-class destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968).

On shore he served on the Joint Staff as the vice director for Operations the National Security Council Staff as director for Strategic Capabilities Policy, and as a director for combating terrorism.

The outgoing SOUTHCOM commander, Marine Gen. John Kelly, a vocal advocate for the combatant command, is expected to retire at the end of of his assignment.

The following is the complete Oct. 29, 2015 nomination announcement on Tidd’s nomination.

Navy Vice Adm. Kurt W. Tidd for appointment to the rank of admiral and for assignment as commander, U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Florida. Tidd is currently serving as assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    Most likely the most experience and effective commander in the a navy and he has no ships available.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Welcome aboard, Admiral. The Coast Guard has done a bang up job with drug interdiction. Hopefully the USN can help them out even more.

    Make no mistake, illegal drug traffickers are just as big an enemy of this country as ISIS, and they are HERE already.

  • John B. Morgen

    What is this admiral going to use for warships? A command that never sails, I hope admiral’s office has an ocean view…..