Rowden Takes Command of SURFOR

SURFOR change of command ceremony

While onboard USS Coronado (LCS 4) today, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman was relieved by Vice Adm. Tom Rowden as Commander Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) and Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, was the guest speaker during the ceremony that also served as Copeman’s retirement following a successful 32-year naval career.

Copeman’s leadership as SURFOR directly improved training and professional development for the Surface Force by implementing of the Basic Division Officers Course (BDOC). BDOC shifted the focus of training for new Surface Warfare Officers by applying knowledge gained from shipboard experience with classroom and applied instruction. During his tenure, he prepared USS Freedom (LCS 1) for the first deployment of a littoral combat ship to the Asia-Pacific region. He also promoted the use of energy-based weapons and computer-based training.

Rowden assumes command of SURFOR with extensive experience, including sea duty tours as commanding officer of USS Milius (DDG 69); reactor officer on USS George Washington (CVN 73); commander of Destroyer Squadron 60; commander of Carrier Strike Group Seven; and commander of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Strike Group. Most recently, he served as the Director of Surface Warfare Division (N96) on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff.

SURFOR is responsible for the readiness of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, amphibious assault ships, littoral combat ships, mine countermeasures ships, and logistics and fleet support ships.


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