Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden relieved Vice Adm. Thomas H. Copeman III as Commander, Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC), during a change of command and retirement ceremony aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4), Aug. 7.
As SURFOR, Copeman’s priorities were to support warfighting first; increase readiness for Sailors and civilians; and build the future force.
Greenert thanked Copeman for his leadership as the surface fleet commander and for his contributions to the Navy. He also welcomed Rowden and his family, as he takes command of the surface fleet.
Rowden, a native of Washington, D.C., and a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, has served in a range of sea and shore assignments. His sea duty assignments include duty in cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. He served as commanding officer of USS Milius (DDG 69); reactor officer aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73); commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 60; commander of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group; and commander of the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group.
SURFOR is responsible for the proper manning, training, and equipping of the surface fleet, as well as overall readiness of littoral combat ships, mine counter-measure ships, cruisers, destroyers, and amphibious ships.