U.S. Pacific Fleet Welcomes New Commander

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Adm. Gary Roughead assumed command over the Navy’s largest area of responsibility as Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, when he relieved Adm. Walter F. Doran July 8 in front of the USS Missouri Memorial on Ford Island.

Military and civilian guests gathered not only to say goodbye to Doran but also to welcome Roughead. Speakers included Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark and Commander, U.S. Pacific Command Adm. William J. Fallon. Attending dignitaries included various flag and general officers currently serving in the Pacific region, in addition to former Pacific Command and Pacific Fleet commanders. Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, (D-Hawaii), and civilian and military dignitaries from several Asian and Pacific nations also were present.

During his command, Doran led the Pacific Fleet in a wide variety of operations, ranging from fighting global terrorism, promoting military cooperation and partnerships with Pacific region allies, and helping victims of the devastating tsunami last December in South Asia.

“The speed of response by the U.S. naval ships and aircraft involved (in tsunami relief) was a direct result of having operating forces in the Western Pacific,” Doran said.

During his remarks, Clark recognized Doran and his wife, Ginny.

“The Doran family has honored our Navy institution for many years. What we will remember most about these two incredible people is their grace, their class, and their powerful example of a lifetime of service to our nation,” said Clark.

In recognition of these accomplishments and his 38 years of naval service, Clark awarded Doran the Distinguished Service Medal on behalf of Secretary of the Navy Gordon England.

In his remarks, Roughead stressed Doran’s work.

“He expanded and enhanced our important relationships in the region, assured readiness, and postured our forces for the opportunities and challenges that await," he said. "Regardless of the challenge, the Pacific Fleet was ready - witness the magnificent response in the tsunami of last year. That is readiness.”

As the 31st Pacific Fleet commander, Roughead takes over nine months after reporting as second-in-command of U.S. Pacific Command.

In his remarks, the 1973 U.S. Naval Academy graduate pledged to maintain the Pacific Fleet’s high state of readiness, as well as provide for the Sailors under his command.

“We will be ready and we will win. And our superb people will be professionally and personally fulfilled as they carry out the work of our nation’s great Navy,” Roughead said.

Prior to his tour at Pacific Command, he served as the commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet; commander of the NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic; and commander of Naval Forces North Fleet East based out of Norfolk, Va.

Other command assignments included commandant of the Naval Academy, commanders for Cruiser-Destroyer Group 2 and the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Battle Group, commanding officer of the Aegis destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) and commanding officer of the Hawaii-based cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73). He is the first naval officer to command both classes of Aegis ships.

“For a naval officer, there is no higher honor than to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. Thank you (Adm. Clark) for the confidence you have placed in me, and for the opportunity to command the Pacific Fleet. We will position and posture ourselves to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” said the Buffalo, N.Y., native.

Roughead’s awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit and service awards.

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