NAPLES, Italy — The reins of several top-level commands changed hands Wednesday morning during a ceremony held at NATO’s Joint Force Command headquarters.
Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III relieved Adm. Mark Fitzgerald as head of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa.
A surface warfare officer by trade, Locklear has served in a wide range of assignments to include U.S. 3rd Fleet commander. He comes to Naples from Washington, D.C., where he served as director of the Navy staff.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve with the NATO team, officers, enlisted and civilians,” Locklear said at the ceremony. “You truly represent the cooperative and collaborative spirit of NATO, furthering its standing as the most successful alliance in our world’s history.”
Fitzgerald, who is retiring after 37 years in the Navy, called the alliance “the glue that holds Europe together, the glue that holds that trans-Atlantic alliance together.”
From staff reports