NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NAPLES, Italy –
U.S. 6th Fleet held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, July 1, 2020.
Vice Adm. Eugene H. Black III relieved Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti as commander, U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) and commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO.
“For 70 years, Sailors, Marines, Coastguardsmen, and civilians just like you have connected their dot to 6th Fleet’s mission and legacy of delivering Power for Peace,” said Franchetti. “We have great subs, ships, aircraft, networks, and weapons – but without people, without Sailors and their families, we can go nowhere and do nothing… and that is either definitive or glorious. Thank you for what you do every day to support the mission of the U.S. 6th Fleet.”
Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (CNE-CNA) and commander, Allied Joint Force Command-Naples, served as guest speaker for the event and presented Franchetti with the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for her actions while serving as C6F and deputy CNE-CNA.
“Under her command, interoperability with allies and partners has expanded and strengthened,” said Foggo. “During the coronavirus pandemic, she made sure the world knew that C6F was #Open for Business. Her innovation saw us operate throughout the theater despite the pandemic – Baltic Sea, Black Sea, east Mediterranean, and the Barents Sea. It was an impressive operation that was flawlessly executed. Lisa has been instrumental in all of this… You are a formidable operator, dedicated leader, and consummate professional.”
Franchetti thanked her Sailors, civilian, subordinate commands, and her staff for their hard work and dedication and for leading the charge in C6F, adding she has full confidence Black has the experience and capability to lead.
“Warfighting in C6F requires all hands on deck, and I will surely miss this as I transition to the Pentagon,” said Franchetti. “I can’t think of a better person to take over in my wake than Vice Adm. Gene Black… Having led the Dynamic Force Employment deployment of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, Vice Adm. Black is well acquainted with the challenges and opportunities this region presents.”
In his remarks, Black briefly spoke about his goals as C6F.
“I remain convinced that our asymmetric advantage continues to be our people,” said Black. “Whether in uniform or civilian, staff or operating units, I have the utmost confidence that we will rise to any challenge. I am eager to work side-by-side with you as we take these on.”
He also thanked Franchetti for her leadership and guidance.
“You have been incredibly generous with your precious time preparing me for this command, both when I worked for you as your strike group commander and now as your relief,” said Black. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You have a friend who will move mountains on your behalf.”
Black’s previous assignments include the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations – director of the Surface Warfare Division (N96); commander of Carrier Strike Group 8; deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet; commanding officer of USS Mason (DDG 87); and commanding officer of USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).
Franchetti’s next assignment will be as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development (N7) in Washington, D.C.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.