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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Naval Surface Force Atlantic Holds Change of Command Ceremony

by Petty Officer 2nd Class Wyatt Anthony
05 March 2021
Rear Adm. Brad Cooper salutes Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, during the Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) change of command ceremony aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19).
SLIDESHOW | 9 images | SURFLANT Change of Command Ceremony Rear Adm. Brad Cooper salutes Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, during the Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) change of command ceremony aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19). During the ceremony, Rear. Adm. Brendan McLane relieved Cooper as commander of SURFLANT. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Milham/Released)
Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT), held a change of command ceremony aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), March 5.

In the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) mitigated event, Rear Adm. Brendan McLane became the 60th SURFLANT commander, relieving Rear Adm. Brad Cooper during the time-honored ceremony. Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command provided remarks and emphasized the positive impact Cooper had during his SURFLANT tenure.

“Your performance as SURFLANT has been outstanding in every respect,” said Grady. “You expertly managed the combat readiness of 27,000 personnel, 77 warships, and 31 support units of the Atlantic Surface Force to unparalleled levels of lethality. You produced a tough, resilient, and battle-ready surface force that we can clearly see here across the seawall today.”

Cooper served as the SURFLANT commander since June 2020 and was responsible for ensuring the Atlantic Surface Force was manned, trained, equipped and ready to fight and win. Representing the command’s “combat ready, battle-minded” maxim, Cooper highlighted the hard work and dedication of his headquarters’ team, waterfront leadership, and the service members and civilians across the Atlantic Force.

Some of Cooper’s more notable accomplishments at SURFLANT include: leading the highly effective response to the coronavirus pandemic; significantly reducing force generation risk through the dissemination of best practices; and conceiving the “Task Group Greyhound” initiative to provide the fleet commanders a predictable and sustainable model to maximize warships ready for operational tasking. Additionally, he improved the on time delivery of ships out the maintenance phase by 30 percent; led ground breaking training initiatives and guided training commands in the creation of a more effective process for deployment certification. His culture of excellence initiatives increased operational readiness by reducing destructive behaviors and increased mental health care for the force.

“I could not be prouder of the great work that our Sailors do each and every day, all around the world,” said Cooper. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve with the exceptional crews manning ships in the Atlantic Surface Force. I am optimistic for our future and firmly believe that our best days are forward of the bow.”

Cooper’s next assignment is special assistant to the commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

McLane previously served as commander, Carrier Strike Group 10. His sea duty commands include USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG 23); USS Vicksburg (CG 69); USS Moosbrugger (DD 980); Destroyer Squadron 14; USS Simpson (FFG 56); USS Carney (DDG 64); and commodore, Destroyer Squadron 50. As a flag officer, he led Navy Recruiting Command.

“I am committed to continue the great work of Rear. Adm. Cooper in delivering elite, combat ready forces for our Navy and our Nation,” said McLane.

McLane takes command at SURFLANT during a dynamic time, as the force continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, while protecting the health of Sailors and Marines, civilians and their families, and maintaining a ready force. Not an easy task, but a top priority for the command.

“Admiral McLane, welcome aboard! You’ve proven throughout your career what it means to be operationally excellent,” said Grady. “Maintain the momentum of this great team, striving every day to ensure our mighty surface force is resolute, ready, and lethal on arrival.”

SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of 77 ships and 31 shore commands.

For more SURFLANT news and photos, visit,, and Twitter @surflant.


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