Adm. Stuart Munsch, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) and commander, Allied Joint Forces Command (JFC) Naples, presided over the ceremony. Munsch outlined Black’s intensive accomplishments as SIXTHFLT commander and offered Black with the Distinguished Service Medal.
“Gene has sustained an unprecedented degree of exercise because the fleet commander for the Euro-Atlantic space, recalibrating our mixed forces for dynamic operations, because the tenets of strategic competitors dictate, to discourage Russian aggression and stand able to defend NATO,” mentioned Munsch. “Nobody can take a look at the tenor you’ve set and argue that our adversaries haven’t factored your warfighting command of Sixth Fleet and STRIKFORNATO into their calculus.”
As SIXTHFLT commander and deputy commander of NAVEUR-NAVAF, Black offered regional, nationwide and worldwide management with credible Navy and NATO fight capabilities throughout the European and African areas of operations. He additionally spearheaded the institution of a European Navy-Marine Corps activity power (Activity Pressure 61 Naval Amphibious Forces Europe/ second Marine Division (TF-61/2)). TF 61/2 is charged with command and management of high-end U.S. forces, together with Amphibious Prepared Teams (ARG) and Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU); Reconnaissance and Counter-Reconnaissance Marines; and intelligence and assortment models in a position to combine with theater allies and companions.
“The institution of Activity Pressure 61/2 has introduced an enhanced speedy response functionality to the Sixth Fleet space of operations and has displayed the power and suppleness of the Navy-Marine Corps staff,” mentioned Brig. Gen. Andrew Priddy, commanding normal of TF 61/2.
Moreover, Black’s management of STRIKFORNATO yielded the primary switch of authority (TOA) of a U.S. Service Strike Group to NATO for the reason that Chilly Battle, setting a brand new normal in NATO cohesion and cooperation. SIXTHFLT and STRIKFORNATO executed a number of phases of the Mission Neptune collection in 2021 and 2022, increasing TOA of allied provider strike teams and of the usKearsarge (LHD 3) ARG and twenty second MEU, considerably rising flexibility and cohesion all through the alliance.
“Demonstrating and enhancing NATO’s high-end maritime warfare capabilities exhibits the world the true power and teamwork of our alliance,” Black mentioned of Neptune Protect, held in Might 2022. “NATO’s capability to conduct built-in operations within the maritime area…validates greater than seven many years of Alliance interoperability.”
Although he superior U.S. Sixth Fleet and the NATO alliance’s collective warfighting benefit, Black additionally mirrored on the significance of his interactions together with his staffs of U.S. and allied servicemembers and civilians, highlighting the facility and functionality of his staff.
“Most of all I’ll miss the Sailors and Marines standing the watch on our ships, submarines, and operations facilities, making ready the flight deck for the following launch cycle, prepping to go over the seashore within the hardest situations in plane and amphibious automobiles, ensuring that if the orders come, the missiles fly, the weapons shoot, the plane launch, the torpedoes run true, and the Marines get ashore,” mentioned Black. “I shall miss them most of all.”
Ishee, beforehand the Director of World Operations for U.S. Strategic Command, spoke of his appreciation for the staff he’ll lead, whereas outlining his imaginative and prescient and objectives for the command.
“Historical past is unfolding earlier than our eyes, and our nation, the alliance, different allies and our companions world wide are counting on Sixth Fleet and STRIKFORNATO to take care of freedom of navigation, defend our nations and the alliance, and help our companions,” mentioned Ishee. “We are going to proceed to construct these enduring relationships by means of coaching and workout routines, frequent values, and shared experiences and imaginative and prescient.”
Ishee additionally thanked his predecessor for the nice and cozy welcome and clean transition in assuming command of SIXTHFLT and STRIKFORNATO.
“Gene and Lori, thanks each very a lot for smoothing our return to Naples,” mentioned Ishee. “You’ve gone above and past to make us really feel welcome and to organize us for the journey forward.”
Likewise, Black provided his congratulations and effectively needs to his successor.
“Vice Admiral Ishee, you might be magnificently effectively ready to command the Sixth Fleet and Hanging and Assist Forces NATO,” mentioned Black. “Know I’m your strongest supporter and can assist you each manner that I can.”
Ishee’s sea excursions included assignments onboard submarines USS Narwhal (SSN 671) and USS Sea Satan (SSN 664); engineer officer onboard USS Tunny (SSN 682); and govt officer onboard USS La Jolla (SSN 701). He commanded USS Key West (SSN 722). Whereas in command, the crew was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Arleigh Burke Trophy and Battle Effectivity Award. He commanded Submarine Squadron 11, the place he ensured the readiness of six quick assault submarines and oversaw the operations of three torpedo retrievers, a floating drydock and the Navy’s submarine rescue techniques. Additionally, he served as Director of Operations, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa; Deputy Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet; Commander, Submarine Group 8.
His excursions ashore included assistant professor of Naval Science on the College of Texas at Austin; engineer and govt officer of Moored Coaching Ship MTS 626; govt assistant to the deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet; director of intelligence and particular operations for Commander, Submarine Pressure U.S. Pacific Fleet; director of operations for Commander, Submarine Group 7 and Activity Pressure 54/74; senior advisor to the Secretary of Protection for U.S. Pacific Command Plans; govt assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations; deputy commander, Joint Purposeful Part Command-World Strike, U.S. Strategic Command; Director, Undersea Warfare Division, Workplace of the Chief of Naval Operations (N97); and as Director of World Operations, U.S. Strategic Command (J3).
Black has been chosen for reappointment to the grade of vice admiral and task as deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans, and technique, N3/N5, Workplace of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.
“You permit us to take up duties as Deputy CNO for Operations, Plans and Technique – a pivotal task from which the Navy will profit given your deep information of the worldwide challenges going through our Fleet right here in Europe in addition to within the Pacific,” mentioned Munsch.
U.S. Sixth Fleet is completely assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces by means of the complete spectrum of joint and naval operations.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has solid strategic relationships with allies and companions, leveraging a basis of shared values to protect safety and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces within the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of duty.