By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) William Pittman, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus visited civilian and military personnel at Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet (CNE-CNA/C6F) Headquarters at Naval Support Activity, Naples, June 1.
Mabus was greeted upon arrival by Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of U.S. 6th Fleet, and Command Master Chief Jay Wood, command master chief of U.S. 6th Fleet headquarters.
"This was a big day for everyone here," said Wood. "Sailors and Marines had the opportunity to talk to SECNAV, and SECNAV got to see 6th Fleet's contribution to global security, friendship building and the fight against terrorism."
Mabus sat with 11 Sailors and a Marine for lunch where he expressed his gratitude for their service. He engaged the Sailors in conversation about their jobs, military experience and family life.
"SECNAV was very attentive and open when we talked to him during lunch," said Yeoman 2nd Class Rebecca Holman. "Besides talking about our Navy experiences, we also discussed issues that are important to us as junior Sailors. He gave us straight answers, and it was more than obvious that he genuinely cared about what we had to say."
After a brief tour of the base, Mabus took part in a public promotion ceremony, where he promoted seven officers to their next rank.
"I still can't believe SECNAV promoted me," said Lt. Cmdr. Tim Parr, assistant force judge advocate for CNE-CNA/C6F. "This was an absolutely once in a lifetime experience."
Mabus conducted an all hands call with the CNE-CNA/C6F personnel where he discussed many important issues and conducted a question-and-answer session upon its conclusion. Afterward, he took a few minutes to pose for pictures with Sailors.
This is Mabus' first visit to CNE-CNA/C6F since he assumed his duties as SECNAV on May 19, 2009.