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CTF-68 Welcomes New Commodore

May 14, 2018 at 4:52 PM UTC
MC1 Brian Dietrick, Naval Station Rota, Spain, Public Affairs

Service members aboard Naval Station Rota, Spain, welcomed a new commander for Naval Expeditionary Task Force Europe and Africa during a change of command ceremony May 14, 2018.

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Capt. Curtis Larson relieved Capt. Leonard “Lenny” Lyon while Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, presided over the ceremony.

“This is a very special day where we all gather together to witness the formal transfer of responsibility from one commander to another,” said Franchetti. “The expeditionary forces here in Europe and Africa contribute to the full spectrum of our joint and naval operations. CTF-68 is largely responsible for our focused sustained engagement with our African partners. The partnerships you make when forward-deployed give our national security decision-makers options and help keep the U.S. as the partner of choice in these developing nations.”

While in command at CTF-68, Lyon stood up the Counter Improvised Explosive Brigade, led five proof-of-concept expeditionary ordnance events on surface, submarine and air platforms, created a permanent presence of the Coastal Riverine Squadron in the port of Djibouti, and led CTF-68 through its first major combat operations certification.

“Commodore Lyon produced results and thanks to his efforts, we are better postured and ready to conduct the full spectrum of operations across Europe and Africa,” said Franchetti.

After reading their orders, Larson officially relieved Lyon to become the eighth commodore in the history of CTF-68.

“I always ask, ‘what have you done?’ Not what did you try or what did you start, but ‘what have you actually done?” said Lyon. “Everyday, the people of this task force answer the call, accept the challenge and get stuff done. What other people call success is a clean inbox. What this task force calls success is putting stuff into the “done” pile. It’s mission accomplishment. I couldn’t be prouder. Our culture is a culture of mission accomplishment because we’re always putting stuff in the “done” pile and we won’t stop till it’s done.”

“You are the heart and soul of everything that goes on out here,” said Larson. “That culture of mission accomplishment that Capt. Lyon spoke of comes from you and I really look forward to leading and working with you.”

CTF-68 conducts explosive ordnance disposal operations, naval construction, expeditionary security and theater security efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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