Adm. Daryl Caudle relieved Adm. Chris Grady as commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) in a ceremony on Dec. 7 aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.
Last month, President Biden nominated Grady to serve as the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served as commander of Fleet Forces since May 2018 (Defense Daily, Nov. 2).
Grady also assumed the duties of commander of U.S. Naval Forces Strategic Command and U.S. Strategic Command Joint Force Maritime Component Commander in February 2019.
Last month, President Biden nominated Grady to serve as the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Defense Daily, Nov. 2).
Grady appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his confirmation hearing on Dec. 8. While there, he said he plans to continue acquisition reforms to further streamline the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (Defense Daily, Dec. 8).
He is currently waiting for the committee to vote on his nomination. During the hearing, several senators urged him to be confirmed quickly as the vice chairman seat is currently empty after Air Force Gen. John Hyten retired last month. At the hearing, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he was confident Grady will be confirmed.
Grady led USFFC when the Navy established the subordinate U.S. 2nd Fleet in 2018. 2nd Fleet achieved initial operational capability in May 2019 (Defense Daily, May 30) and it reached full operational capability in December 2019 (Defense Daily, Jan. 2, 2020).
Caudle previously served as commander of Naval Submarine Forces; Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; and commander of Allied Submarine Command since November 2019. In that role he led the submarine forces’ strategic vision, commanded all Atlantic-based U.S. submarines and supporting shore activities, and served as principal undersea warfare adviser to all NATO strategic commanders.
He previously served as vice director for strategy, plans and policy on the Joint Staff (J-5); commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; and commander of Submarine Group Eight.
“Our direction from the Secretary of the Navy and the [Chief of Naval Operations] is clear. We are in a maritime era with readiness at a premium. We must focus our efforts on increasing the lethality and the capability of not only our Navy, but what we will bring to the joint force. We will aggressively compete, deter, defend and posture our fleet to end, decisively, all conflicts favorable to the United States,” Caudle said during the change of command ceremony.
He added his three primary lines of effort will be to deter strategic attacks against the homeland and ensure continuity of government and operations; consistently, predictably and affordably generate ready forces to the point of need; and set conditions for and “enable our fleet to maneuver with purpose and effect and through all domains from the seabed to space.”
“We will own the Atlantic – meaning three things. First…the homeland will be defended. Second, we will operate our forces without seams or artificial boundaries through command and control structures that are nimble, agile, responsive and mission-based. Finally, our adversaries will think more than just ‘not today’ with respect to attacking the United States, but it will be the absolute wrong day to confront our Navy,” Caudle continued.