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Remarks as Delivered by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Adm. Mark Ferguson at the USS Carney Welcome Ceremony, Sept. 25, 2015
Ladies and gentlemen, Fellow Flag officers, mayors of Rota and El Puerto and subdelegado del gobierno, and distinguished guests, thank you for joining us as we welcome USS Carney and her crew to her new home. I am honored to share the podium this afternoon with Admiral Munoz-Delgado, Spanish Chief of Naval Staff; Mr. Urs., Deputy Chief of Mission to Spain and Andorra and Admiral Franco Suanzes, Admiral of the Spanish Fleet. Gentlemen, thank you for your support of our Navy. Rear Admiral Gomez, we greatly appreciate the reception and support for our ships arriving in Spain. Your hospitality is representative of friendship between our Navies. Commodore Dromerhauser, and the staff of Destroyer Squadron Six Zero: thank you for your leadership in preparing USS Carney for her move to Rota, I appreciate it and I am sure the crew of Carney does as well. Carney joins USS Donald Cook, USS Ross, and USS Porter as the fourth (and last) of our forward-deployed destroyers in Rota. With the arrival of Carney, we have reached a milestone in our nation’s commitment to station multi-mission capable warships to support the ballistic missile defense of Europe. USS Carney’s namesake is Admiral Robert Carney, a distinguished veteran of both World Wars and 14th Chief of Naval Operations. During his career he held command of the USS Rathurne, USS Buchanan, USS Reid, and finally USS Denver. As Admiral Halsey’s Chief of Staff at 3rd Fleet, then Rear Admiral Carney took part in the Palau, Leyte, Lingayen, and Okinawa campaigns and later arranged for the entry of 3rd Fleet into Tokyo Bay. He personally accepted the surrender of Yokosuka Naval Base. Before he was selected as the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Carney served as NATO Forces in Southern Europe from 1951-1953. It is meaningful for me to be here today, as Admiral Carney was the first four star to be assigned to Naples Naval Forces Europe. It is fitting today that his namesake, the USS Carney and her crew joins the Sixth Fleet team. Carney, like her sister ships before her, will provide a vital capability in challenging and exciting times, and I know she is ready. These four forward deployed ships are operating in one of the most complex and dynamic regions in the world. The Ballistic Missile Defense mission is only one of many for these ships. Today, and in the future, these ships will:
- Sail throughout the theater as reassurance to our NATO allies, and strengthen and improve our interoperability as an alliance.
- They will conduct the full spectrum of maritime security operations, assist in bi-lateral and multi-lateral training exercises and will be ready to conduct NATO operations and deployments.
- Serve as ambassadors for the United States and our Navy and platforms building friendships, conduct professional exchanges and exercises with officers and Sailors from navies around the region.
They are part of a broader picture, as NATO adapts to the challenges of the south and east. They will join with our future AEGIS Ashore sites in Poland and Romania to defend the Alliance. USS Carney, and her sister ships are marvels of modern technology. Her heart and soul, as all Sailors know, is her crew. These men and women are highly trained, prepared, and ready to serve. We welcome each of you and your families to the Sixth Fleet and to Rota. Lastly, I wish to express my appreciation to our Gracious Host Nation. And for the people of Rota, thank you for making us a part of your community. Your hospitality has made us feel as if we are family. Welcome home, USS Carney, we are glad you are here. Thank you.