Command changes in San Diego early June 2018
Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center conducts change of command ceremony
by Lt. Joshua Pierce, Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center (FLEASWTRACEN) held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Base Point Loma, June 15.
Capt. Brandon Bryan relieved Capt. Ron Toland as commanding officer.
Toland assumed command of the training center in June 2016. During his tenure, he led a staff of 270 service members and 30 civilian government employees, enhanced curriculum and proficiency of his instructors, and embarked on several initiatives, including the reshaping and implementing of new sonar technician surface training.
Capt. Frank X. Castellano, Center for Surface Combat Systems' commanding officer, was the guest speaker and highlighted some of Toland's achievements.
"Ron's unique anti-submarine warfare background and extensive mine warfare operational experience promoted and achieved command excellence at one of my largest commands," Castellano explained. "Ron and his team developed Air Intercept Controller (AIC) and Anti-Submarine Warfare Tactical Air Controller (ASTAC) preparation courses dramatically reducing attrition and improving fleet manning. He oversaw the Littoral Combat Ship Training Facility (LTF) expansion which included opening a new LTF onboard Naval Base San Diego. Ron actively fostered a positive command climate resulting in Naval Education and Training Command's Fiscal Year 2017 Gold Anchor Retention Excellence Award for the fourth consecutive year. Lastly, but extremely important, Ron and his staff provided the perseverance for Sailor 2025 Block Learning and Ready, Relevant Learning for the sonar technician surface rate. His team of sonar experts developed a combined A(V)15 Operations / "A" School merger to eliminate overhead and streamline learning pipelines in support of RRL initiatives. These initiatives improved overall street-to-fleet time for initial-entry Sailors, and served to reduce knowledge and skill degradation experienced in extended periods of Awaiting Instruction.
Toland was awarded a Legion of Merit and reflected on his tour.
"FLEASWTRACEN staff, I had a great time leading this outstanding team of professionals," Toland said.
"The many accomplishments that Capt. Castellano recognized today was due to your dedicated, daily efforts ensuring we developed and delivered the best surface ship combat systems training to our fleet Sailors to allow them to achieve surface warfare superiority. Keep your motivation focused on achieving your instructional goals and continuing to become the subject matter experts in each of your respective training areas, reinforcing the correct maintenance and operational habits to our students. FLEASWTRACEN has an incredible history since established in 1939 and each of you has helped to write another chapter. Never forget that we serve the greatest Navy the world has ever known and we must train our fleet Sailors to be ready to accomplish our core combat systems missions when called upon."
Toland's next assignment is deputy commander for Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Mine Warfare Division, also located in San Diego.
Bryan, who previously served as assistant chief of staff for operations on the staff of commander, Carrier Strike Group 15 and director of strike group anti-submarine warfare training at the Undersea Warfighting Development Center, looks forward to his new duty as commanding officer for FLEASWTRACEN.
"It is a true honor and privilege to take command of this dedicated team of Navy active duty and civilian professionals," Bryan said.
"FLEASWTRACEN is at the forefront of delivering relevant and realistic combat systems training to the surface warfare fleet, and I look forward to working with this superb team in continuing their record of excellence."
CSCS' mission is to develop and deliver surface ship combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority. CSCS headquarters' staff oversees 14 learning sites, including FLEASWTRACEN. With a military and civilian staff of 300, FLEASWTRACEN delivers 90 technical courses of instruction through 475 course convenes educating more than 4,100 U.S. Navy and partner nation Sailors in the many facets of maintaining and operating their ships in the areas of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, combat systems training and littoral combat ship training.
Carrier Strike Group 1 welcomes new commander
From Carl Vinson Strike Group Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey relieved Rear Adm. John Fuller as commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, during a pierside change of command ceremony, June 12, aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70).
Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, presided over the ceremony and thanked Fuller for his efforts over the past 11 months as strike group commander.
"Thank you for being the kind of leader I could count on, your fellow strike group commanders could count on, and, most importantly, your Sailors could count on," said Alexander. "Please know how very proud we are of you and your accomplishments."
The strike group successfully completed a sustainment training exercise in November and a Western Pacific deployment in April. The deployment included bilateral exercises with French and Japanese maritime forces, as well as a historic visit to Vietnam, the first by a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group in more than 40 years.
Alexander presented Fuller the Legion of Merit award during the ceremony.
"It has been such an honor that I have been part of such a great team. I feel I gained so much more than I gave," said Fuller. "To my entire staff, thank you for being a family, leading by example and demonstrating great professionalism, humility and tenacity."
Fuller is scheduled to report to U.S. Northern Command in Colorado to serve as the director for strategy, policy and plans.
Holsey addressed strike group staff and leaders after assuming all duties and responsibilities as the CSG-1 commander.
"I am honored today to stand before you as your leader," said Holsey. "We will take every advantage to execute with professionalism, with purpose, and with precision."
Holsey received his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Morehouse College in 1988. He commanded Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 37 from 2007 to 2008 and the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) from 2013 to 2014.
Holsey reported to the strike group from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., where he served as a deputy director for operations.
Carrier Strike Group 1 was formally established in 2009. The strike group includes aircraft carrier Carl Vinson; Carrier Air Wing 2; guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57); Destroyer Squadron 1 guided-missile destroyers USS O'Kane (DDG 77), USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Dewey (DDG 105), and USS Michael Murphy; and USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001).
USS Carl Vinson holds change of command
From USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Capt. Matthew Paradise relieved Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo as commanding officer of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during a pierside change of command ceremony June 11 on the ship's flight deck.
Verissimo, who assumed command of Carl Vinson in May 2016, was promoted to rear admiral during the ceremony just before turning over command to Paradise. Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander, Naval Air Forces, spoke during the event and praised Verissimo's leadership.
"Your leadership enabled Vinson to be the pinnacle example of the word 'readiness,'" said Miller. "We could always count on your ship and crew to answer the call of duty, day in and day out without complaint, hesitation or delay. No other aircraft carrier came close to matching your readiness."
Verissimo led Carl Vinson's crew of 3,200 Sailors during every facet of carrier operations, including two back-to-back Western Pacific deployments in 2017 and 2018. Carl Vinson's most recent deployment included a historic visit to Vietnam, the first by a U.S. aircraft carrier in more than 40 years.
"We chose the perfect captain, the perfect ship, and the perfect crew to represent naval aviation, the Navy and our nation on this historic and monumental visit," said Miller.
Carl Vinson amassed 400 days underway during Verissimo's tenure. During his final address as Carl Vinson's captain, Verissimo congratulated crew members on the ship's success.
"Congratulations on a job well done," said Verissimo. "You have carried forward our namesake's legacy of honorable service to our nation and strength from the sea. Thank you for training each other, thank you for your trust in me, and thank you for working as a strong team."
Verissimo received the Legion of Merit award for exceptional accomplishments during his tour. He is next scheduled to report to the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C., as a deputy director for operations in the National Joint Operations Intelligence Center.
After Paradise assumed all duties and responsibilities as Carl Vinson's commanding officer, he addressed the crew as captain for the first time.
"I join Admiral Miller and Admiral Verissimo in saluting Team Vinson for all it has achieved in these past few months and years," said Paradise. "There are more opportunities yet to go. We will have the opportunity to showcase America's strength, strengthen ties with our international partners, and remind everybody once again who is the best at what they do."
Paradise enlisted in the Navy in 1985 and attended Basic Underwater Demolition School. While assigned to SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Team 2, he was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and earned his commission in 1992.
After earning his wings as an F/A-18 pilot in July 1995, he flew and served in multiple training and operational commands. Paradise served as the executive officer for USS George H.W. Bush from 2013 to 2015 and commanded USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) from 2016 to 2017.
Carl Vinson is America's third Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship's namesake is one of the longest-serving U.S. congressmen in history who had a profound impact on developing America's modern naval force centered on aircraft carriers
Military News | Navy News | San Diego command changes June 2018