By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
Service members assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 69 welcomed a new commodore during a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, May 6, 2019.
Capt. James O’Harrah relieved Capt. Roger E. Meyer as commander. During the ceremony, Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, spoke highly of Meyer’s tour as commodore.
“Roger is truly the preeminent expert when it comes to the undersea domain,” said Franchetti,”His tireless efforts were instrumental in linking our allies and partners in the region, and in developing processes that have dramatically improved our effectiveness in the undersea domain.”
During Meyer’s tenure as commodore, CTF-69 organized and executed more than 21 submarine-related exercises with foreign navies. As the theater anti-submarine warfare commander, Meyer led a resurgence in theater anti-submarine warfare capability, executing more than 15 theater anti-submarine warfare operations and more than 26 presidential level authority missions vital to national security.
Franchetti presented Meyer with the Legion of Merit for his exceptional performance while serving as the commodore for CTF-69 from March 2017 to May 2019.
Meyer reflected on his tenure as commodore and the critical role CTF-69 played in support of multiple operations before handing over the reins to O’Harrah, emphasizing the unique and exciting challenges of being in command of the task force.
“Deployed submarine and theater anti-submarine warfare operations require 24/7/365 support, and the Sailors of Task Force 69 and reserve support from around the world have faithfully stood watch every day, providing this vital support to our submarines,” said Meyer. “This staff, our organization, and its storied performance and historic accomplishment are the pride of the Navy and today I am fortunate to turnover command to a great leader, Capt. Ted O’Harrah whose initiative, goals, efforts, and passion will carry the torch for Task Force 69.”
Meyer spoke his last words to the crew as their commodore, thanking them for their hard work and dedication.
“If I could share with you the details of what they do every day, all of you would sleep a little better knowing they are standing watch for us every night,” said Meyer. “Each and every one of them has given their all and I could not be prouder to have been called their commodore.”
O’Harrah assumed command and addressed CTF-69 for the first time as commodore.
“I am humbled and honored to take command of CTF-69 and join the CTF-69/CSG-8 combined team,” said O’Harrah. “I look forward to working with you all as we continue to execute the ultimate team sport of undersea warfare and work to maximize the role that our sixth fleet submarines and the entire theater undersea warfare enterprise play in executing our national and theater tasking.”
CTF-69 is responsible for planning and coordinating area submarine and anti-submarine warfare operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, 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.