The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF), Adm. Bill Gortney, visited Recruit Training Command (RTC) to tour and attend a recruit graduation, May 16.
Gortney served as the reviewing officer at the ceremony, which was also attended by Rear Adm. David Russell, commander of Information Dominance Corps Reserve Command, who served as guest of honor.
“It is always an honor and privilege to host the Navy’s most senior leadership at the Quarterdeck of the U.S. Navy,” said Capt. John Dye, commanding officer of RTC. “Adm. Gortney’s visit provides an opportunity to display the commitment and dedication of the staff to our mission of forging the next generation of Sailors. In turn, it also demonstrates the commitment of our senior leadership to our newest Sailors.”
RTC, the U.S. Navy’s only boot camp, graduated 701 Sailors in nine divisions and was attended by more than 2,000 family members and friends of the recruits.
“The training that is done in Great Lakes is absolutely critical to the readiness of the fleet,” said Gortney. “I was impressed with everything I saw, from the recruits who graduated today, the Sailors in various phases of training I met yesterday, and the caliber of the instructors across the board.”
Gortney began the morning with a tour of the training facilities at RTC. Included in this tour was a visit to the USS Trayer (BST-21), a 210-foot Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator, the largest in the U.S. Navy, where he toured the capstone event, Battle Stations 21, for recruits that culminates their 12-weeks of training during boot camp.
BST-21 is a 12-hour event where recruits complete 17 different shipboard scenarios. The state-of-the-art training facility uses theme park special effects technology to simulate a variety of shipboard emergencies, such as shipboard fires and compartment flooding.
During his remarks to the graduating divisions and the family and friends in attendance for the Pass-in-Review, Gortney welcomed the new Sailors to the fleet and assured family and friends that their loved ones are in good hands.
“We’re going to teach you, we’re going to lead you, we’re going to guide you and we’re going to do it because you are our relief,” said Gortney. “Parents, we will take care of them; they will come back you to as better citizens of our great nation. We are proud of each and every one of you. We will see you in the Fleet, and the Fleet is great.”
Press Release, May 19, 2014; Image: US Navy