Copeman Takes Command of SURFOR
While on board USS Boxer (LHD 4) today, Vice Adm. Richard Hunt was relieved by Vice Adm. Thomas Copeman III as Commander Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) and Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC).
During his time at SURFOR, Hunt provided combat-ready warships to combatant commanders by effectively manning, training and equipping a combined force of 163 ships, 53 special combat support force units and 64 subordinate staffs around the world.
Adm. Cecil Haney, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, was the guest speaker at the ceremony, which ends Hunt’s 13-month command tour. Hunt will continue his career in Washington, D.C. as Director of Navy Staff.
Vice Adm. Copeman assumes command of SURFOR with extensive experience, including tours as executive officer aboard USS Lake Champlain (CG 57); commanding officer aboard USS Benfold (DDG 65); Commander of Destroyer Squadron 28; Chief of Staff at Naval Surface Forces; and Commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Most recently, he served as Chief of Legislative Affairs.
SURFOR is responsible for the readiness of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, amphibious assault ships, littoral combat ships, and logistics and fleet support ships—eight of which belong to the Naval Reserve Force.
The entire Surface Force is comprised of approximately 49,000 active duty military, 4,800 reservists, and 3,865 civilian employees of the Department of Defense. The staff of SURFOR includes approximately 355 people—240 military and 115 civilians.