USS Wisconsin Hosts Change of Command Ceremony

Rear Adm. Christopher W. Grady relieved Rear Adm. Pete A. Gumataotao as commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) July 24 during a ceremony aboard USS Wisconsin (BB 64).

Gumataotao served as commander since August 2013, continuing to reshape the surface force footprint in the Atlantic. Well representing the Navy as “America’s away team,” SURFLANT has strategically placed tactically competent warfighters far from its headquarters here, from the afloat staging base and 10 coastal patrol boats in the U.S. 5th Fleet to the three ballistic missile destroyers forward deployed in Spain (soon to be four by fall of 2015) to the Aegis Ashore facility in Romania.

In addition, the command will stand up a squadron of littoral combat ships in Mayport this fall, with the first of eight platforms to be homeported there arriving next year.

“It’s a team effort, what our surface warriors bring to the fight with our offensive, lethal punch, to support the bigger effort with our aviators, submariners, joint and coalition warriors. It comes
down to being better warfighters, simple as that. The future is now, at SURFLANT, where the team is charging all ahead flank!”
, said Rear Adm. Pete A. Gumataotao.

Grady is a native of Newport, Rhode Island, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame from which he was commissioned an ensign through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program.

His sea tours included USS Moosbrugger (DD 980) and USS Princeton (CG 59). He served as commanding officer of Mine Counter Measure Rotational Crew Echo on USS Chief (MCM 14) and USS Ardent (MCM 12), USS Cole (DDG 67), and Destroyer Squadron 22. Grady’s flag assignments include director of the Maritime Operations Center (N2/3/5/7), commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Most recently, as commander, Carrier Strike Group 1, he just returned from a nearly 10-month combat deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

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