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Chief of Staff
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Civilian Human Resources
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Office of the Inspector General
Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (AIRLANT)
Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT)
Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT)
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)
Navy Munitions Command Atlantic (NMCLANT)
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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)
Adm. Daryl Caudle
Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command
24 May 2023
Remarks as delivered.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members and guests, good evening. Thank you Admiral Davidson, for that kind introduction. It’s wonderful to be back at the New York Yacht Club. What an extraordinary venue to celebrate our maritime traditions and heritage!
This evening we are joined by my fellow Sea Service Representatives to the Fleet Week New York Executive Board:
The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy.
LtGen Brian Cavanaugh, Commander of Marine Forces Command and Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic.
VADM Kevin Lunday, Commander, U-S Coast Guard Atlantic Fleet.
Commodore Zabetakis (
), Sir, thank you for the warm welcome. On behalf of the Fleet Week Executive Board and my wife Donna, we are honored to join you, we are grateful for your invitation and for welcoming the Fleet back to New York City.
Fleet Week New York is now in its 35
year – and we have another strong showing from across the Sea Services to include the nation’s finest warships filled with over 2,700 Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen ready to experience the enthusiasm and hospitality of this amazing city.
Our maritime services are the greatest this world has ever known because of our people – our single greatest enduring, competitive advantage – the key to our unbridled overmatch over any potential adversaries or strategic competitor.
Events like these are certainly not possible without the hard work and support of a strong team – so thank you for your tireless efforts.
We could not do this without organizations and people like you.
We are backed by the unwavering support, ingenuity, determination, industrial innovation, and technological brilliance from great cities like New York, and proud, time-honored organizations like the New York Yacht Club.
From your founding in 1844 with your first Commodore John Cox Stevens and his schooner named ‘America’ - which was painted black like a submarine.
‘America’ crossed the Atlantic in 1851 to challenge the English yachts near Isle of Wight.
‘America’ and the New York Yacht club went on to win and defend the America’s Cup trophy from 1870-1983, the longest streak in the history of sports.
What a dynasty of skill, ship handling, craftsmanship, and dominance over any who challenged you. This theme should sound familiar.
Because, I am here to tell you, that same ‘knife in the teeth’ warfighting spirit you all showed to defend America’s Cup is present in the soul of every one of the 2,700 service members here who have donned the cloth of this nation, raised their right hand, and swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
I normally like to take every opportunity I can, as long as there are plenty of witnesses, to poke some fun at my Marine brothers and sisters. I’m just thankful Fleet Week doesn’t host a service football game or pull-up competition.
But in all seriousness, like siblings, we may pick at each other but our maritime services are united and uniformly resolved in defense of this nation and advancement of our national interests.
As President Harry S. Truman said in a Navy Day Celebration right here in New York City following World War II:
“Together with their brothers in arms in the Army and Air Force, and with the men of the Merchant Marine, [our Sea Services] have helped to win for mankind all over the world a new opportunity to live in peace and dignity--and we hope, in security.”
The Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen you will meet tonight and this week are called to serve. They represent the very best our country has to offer. They are the 1% who volunteered to preserve freedom for the other 99% - a commitment I consider represents the truest measure of what it means to be a citizen.
All of us know people – family, friends, and acquaintances – who have served, and you know immediately how that service has shaped and strengthened their character. Our service members were not born this way, they are forged, forged through trials and tribulations, hard work and study, cultivated with innovative thought and decisive actions.
They are the backbone of the Fleet – and because of them, we have indisputably the greatest maritime force the world has ever known –
hands down, no exception.
Those service members stand ready in the face of our adversaries and malevolent forces around the world who are intent on disrupting the peace and prosperity that our forbearers fought so hard to secure.
In the harbors and rivers across New York City and the Tri-State area, ships of the mighty United States Navy and Coast Guard are moored, ready to engage with you. I hope that you will visit them, talk to the crews and Marines onboard, and see for yourselves what your sons and daughters, your labor and money, have forged – a hard-hitting instrument of national power and liberty.
And just like the intrepid spirit and grit of the people of New York, there is nothing these young men and women can’t do, nothing that they can’t accomplish.
You will see in the quickest conversation, or moment of admiration, why we are, and will remain, ready to fight and win our country’s battles on the land, air or sea.
Currently, our Navy has about 300 battle force ships, a third of which are currently underway or forward deployed each and every day. You have probably seen those numbers matched against other world powers.
I don’t care what you hear about ‘Russia this or China that’ – our warfighters are feared – and rightly so. While our competitors can build their ships, tanks and aircraft and post pictures on social media all they want – our weapons systems are not just window dressing, they’re not just talking points – our weapons systems, manned by our battle-hardened warfighters, are absolutely ready to take the fight to any adversary -
The George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group recently returned home following an extended nine-month deployment, predominantly conducted inside the Mediterranean Sea in which the power projection of that Carrier Strike Group served as the foundation of deterrence against Russia furthering their illegal aggression against our NATO Allies.
Without skipping a beat, the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group has now sailed into the European area of operations on its maiden deployment to continue demonstrating NATO’s resolve toward Russia and prove to our adversaries that today or any day is the absolute wrong time to test our solidarity.
Our presence and ability to rapidly respond to crisis are unique and demonstrate the inherent flexibility, capability, and prestige of our naval forces around the world.
WHY A NAVY
Since our founding days, America’s prosperity has been tied to our ability to operate freely in and across the global maritime commons.
Which is why President George Washington, defender of N-Y-C during the Revolutionary War, best captured our value to American people when he said:
“It follows then, as certain as night succeeds the day; that without a decisive naval force, we can do nothing definitive; and with it, everything honorable and glorious.”
He recognized that free and open seas don’t happen automatically – it cannot be taken for granted – and that we must protect our interests against those who challenge the international rules-based order and the free and fair global economy.
And, he understood that for our nation to prosper we must have a Navy with warships like U-S-S WASP, moored on pier 88 in Manhattan, a warship and crew who is continuing to work-up to deploy in 2024. As his crew looks to meet President Washington’s vision of “honor and glory,” the WASP’s Commanding Officer, Captain Cooper, says it best:
“We are warfighters and we must develop the skills necessary to meet the tasking and needs of the Nation… from Humanitarian and Crisis Response supporting Allies and Partners to executing combat operations against any enemy.”
Our force as the “Nations’ Protectors,” along with that of our partners and allies, ensures the safety, security, and unfettered movement to all who sail upon the seas by promoting safety, stability, and security to our vital sea lanes of communication.
And that is precisely why your Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard team will continue to train to the highest standards and continuously break barriers to advance our warfighting edge, so it is known around the world – just as the people of New York are known for their toughness and grit – America is ready to face any who challenge our vital national interests with the spirit of a “Determined Warrior.”
In closing, I think I can speak for everyone when I say once again – thank you for welcoming your Fleet back to New York, thank you for all that you do, and thank you for the steadfast and staunch support of our nation’s warfighters.
Thank you, CDRE, for hosting us tonight.
fleet week new york
Adm. Daryl Caudle
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