Vice Adm. Harry G. Ulrich III, commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet and NATO’s Joint Command Lisbon, was recently nominated for promotion to admiral and will take over as commander of Naval Forces Europe and NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples sometime this year.

Ulrich, a 1972 Naval Academy graduate, served as commander of Destroyer Group 12 and the USS Enterprise battle group; led Task Force Excel, which revamped Navy training; and served on the Chief of Naval Operation’s staff as the director of the surface warfare division.

He took over as 6th Fleet commander on Nov. 4, 2003, and as head of the newly formed Joint Command Lisbon in March 2004.

Replacing Ulrich will be Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem, who will be promoted to vice admiral with the move. Stufflebeem’s nomination was announced earlier this month.

Ulrich will replace Adm. Michael Mullen, who was nominated to take over as Chief of Naval Operations in early March.

No dates have been set for any of the command changes, and all three require congressional approval.

Mullen’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning along with that of secretary of the Navy Gordon England, who has been tapped to become deputy secretary of defense.

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