Vice Adm. Roy I. Kitchener relieved Vice Adm. Richard Brown as Commander, Naval Surface Forces (COMNAVSURFOR) and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVSURFPAC) during a change of command ceremony held at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Aug. 3.
Recommended for promotion to vice admiral in March, Kitchener reports to San Diego from his job as Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (SURFLANT), based in Norfolk, Virginia.
“I am honored to assume command of Naval Surface Forces and command of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet,” said Kitchener. “I am thankful for Vice Admiral Brown’s leadership the past two and a half years. His focus on good stewardship, professional development, and safety were the catalyst for rebuilding a better and smarter force of combat ready ships and battle-minded crews.”
A native of Connecticut, Kitchener graduated from Unity College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1984. He attended the Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and received his commission in 1985. He attended the Naval Post Graduate School where he specialized in Western Hemisphere studies and earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security Affairs.
The ceremony also marked the end of Brown’s 35-year naval career.
“The U.S. Navy has the premier surface force in the world—second to none—that controls the seas and provides the nation with combat naval power when and where needed. Leading the force is rewarding work. Today, I can proudly say that we only deploy ships that have the required manning, are fully certified, and materially ready. That isn’t possible without the hard work and dedication of the SURFPAC staff and the great crews of our ships,” said Brown.
Brown, with the entire SURFPAC team was responsible for ensuring the readiness of 93 ships and 42 shore commands since January 2018.
Significant changes were implemented to ensure the force was trained for the high-end fight and building a culture of excellence while Brown served as commander of the Surface Force. These changes included a revision of the Surface Force Training and Readiness Manual, the establishment of Surface Development Squadron (SURFDEVRON) 1, implementation of the Crew Endurance and Fatigue Policy, and the building of state-of-the-art training facilities, including Maritime Skills Training Centers; the Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense and ASW Trainers (CIAT); and delivering On Demand Trainers (ODT).
The mission of CNSP is to man, train, and equip the Surface Force to provide fleet commanders with credible naval power to control the sea and project power ashore.