Vice Adm. Christopher Grady has taken charge of U.S. 6th Fleet from Vice Adm. James Foggo in a Friday change of command in Naples, Italy, the service announced.
Grady had previously served as the commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic Fleet before taking the multi-hatted job — which includes commander of Striking and Support Forces NATO, deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Africa and the Joint Force Maritime Component commander Europe.
Europe has become a more active region since Russia seized the Crimea region in 2014 and become more active in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
“Chris, I promise your time here will be a lot of things, but boring will not be one of them. We face mounting security challenges across the AOR from the Black Sea and Eastern Med, to the recent attempted attack of U.S. forces from the Yemeni coast, and strikes on ISIS in Northern Africa to Gulf of Guinea piracy concerns,” commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa Adm. Michelle Howard said during the change of command ceremony.
During Foggo’s tenure the U.S. stepped up its presence in the Black Sea, completed deploying four guided missile destroyers to Naval Station Rota, Spain, created a ballistic missile defense and integrated air and missile defense task force and had several encounters with Russian forces.
In his speech during the ceremony, Foggo said NATO was key to America’s Naval future in the region.
“We are a defensive alliance and we are not looking for a fight, but if you threaten us, we will defend our collective interest,” Foggo said.
“The future is all about allies, partners and coalitions.”
Foggo’s next assignment will be as the director of the Navy Staff in the Pentagon.