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NEWS | Jan. 22, 2024

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa hosts CNO and MCPON in Naples, Italy

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Lisa Franchetti and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) James Honea traveled to Naples, Italy to visit facilities and meet with Sailors and civilians in the region, Jan. 22, 2024.

After arriving at U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) headquarters this morning, CNO and MCPON met with Adm. Stuart Munsch, commander of NAVEUR-NAVAF and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples. While in Naples, they also recognized Sailors and civilians for the work they do every day to sustain Allied and partner security relationships. 

The visit to Naples is a homecoming of sorts for Franchetti, as she previously served as the commander of U.S. 6th Fleet from 2018 to 2020. Upon coming back to Naples, she underscored the importance of the Navy’s presence abroad in supporting service, national, and international objectives and interests, and talked to Sailors about the overseas perspective on naval service.

“I know how amazing the team is here. When I became the CNO, I knew one of the most important things to do was to visit the fleets along with MCPON,” said Adm. Franchetti. “It’s important to talk to the fleet and see what they say out here at the pointed end of the spear and then to bring that perspective with me wherever we go.”

MCPON Honea met with NAVEUR-NAVAF Fleet Master Chief (FLTCM) Johannes J. Gonzalez while in Naples. He also spoke with Sailors in the local Enlisted Leadership Development Class. 

“It’s always a special moment for our Sailors to interact with or be recognized by leadership like this,” said FLTCM Gonzalez. “To have the CNO and MCPON speak directly with our teams was a great experience, and a unique opportunity for our Sailors to communicate with the highest levels of our Navy.”

In addition to meeting individually with leadership and Sailors from throughout the region, CNO and MCPON held an awards ceremony and an all hands call to the NAVEUR-NAVAF audience, as well as other Sailors, civilians, and support personnel from various commands throughout the Naples community.

“Speaking with Sailors around the Fleet gives me the opportunity to hear your perspective on what it's like to serve in the region and at points of friction that I can take back to our law and policymakers,” said Honea. “When our decision makers are able to hear and understand the barriers our Sailors and their families experience while serving it influences decisions to improve our service and quality of life.”

From Naples, CNO and MCPON will travel to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, where they will join representatives from the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, and Germany, for the first-ever P-8A Joint Exploration and Discussion Initiative Symposium. 

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility. U.S. 6th Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.