SAN DIEGO - Vice Adm. Nora Tyson relieved Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd as commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet during a change of command and retirement ceremony held on Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) while pierside at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego July 24.
During the ceremony, Floyd retired from active duty after 35 years of honorable naval service. He assumed command of U.S. 3rd Fleet in May 2013.
Under Floyd's strategic vision, 3rd Fleet expanded its influence and contributions across all maritime lines of operations, theater security cooperation, experimentation, disaster relief, and joint operations.
At sea, Floyd served in several F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft squadrons, including tours with the Jolly Rogers of VF-84, the Grim Reapers of VF-101 as an instructor, and the Red Rippers of VF-11. He participated in Operation Desert Storm while serving as a department head with the Starfighters of VF-33. He served as the executive officer and subsequently the commanding officer of the VF-32 Swordsmen. Other sea tours include executive officer of USS Constellation (CV 64) and deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing 7 where he participated in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Ashore, Floyd served on the staff of Naval Space Command, as aide to the commander and subsequently as flag lieutenant, Commander, Carrier Group 8. He served as chief staff officer on the Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet staff and completed a tour on the staff of the U.S. military representative to the NATO Military Committee. He was the deputy operations officer on the staff of Joint Task Force Southwest Asia; chief of staff to Commander, Naval Air Forces; director, Aviation and Aircraft Carrier Plans and Requirements (OPNAV N880); deputy director, Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N88B); commander, Strike Force Training Pacific; director Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N88); director, Warfare Integration (OPNAV N88F); and as assistant deputy chief of naval operations, Warfare Systems (OPNAV N9B).
Floyd reflected on his career while thanking his peers and the men and women of the U.S. Navy.
"Without a doubt, it has been the greatest privilege of my life to lead the men and women who have volunteered to defend this country," said Floyd. "Debbie (Floyd's wife) and I continue to be humbled by the magnitude of the responsibility that you carry and strengthened by the willingness with which you carry it out."
Adm. Scott H. Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, served as the guest speaker (read his remarks).
"Pink, in summary, you did it right," said Swift. "Sailors of both today's and tomorrow's Navy are better prepared by your contributions, example and leadership throughout your career than they have ever been. On their behalf, and on behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for your leadership and service."
Swift presented Floyd with his second Distinguished Service Medal as an end of career award, recognizing him for his exceptional meritorious service to the United States Navy.
"As Pink departs the pattern, there is no better officer to take the lead here at 3rd Fleet than Nora Tyson," said Swift. "When I travel around the theater, everywhere I go, I hear about the great work she has done leading operations and building partnerships in the Pacific Fleet AOR (area of responsibility)."
Tyson's most recent assignment was as deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, where she reported in July 2013.
"I have to admit, it is a little intimidating relieving a legend and a rock star," said Tyson. "It is truly an honor to follow in your footsteps and I know those are big footsteps to fill."
Tyson's commands include commander, Task Force 73/commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific based in Singapore and, most recently, commander, Carrier Strike Group 2, where she led the USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group on its maiden deployment. She also commanded amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), leading the Navy's contributions to disaster relief efforts on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She also deployed twice to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her shore tours include director of staff for Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, and as executive assistant for the chief of naval operations.
"We are challenged to apply our very best efforts to ensure that we maximize the value of the resources that the American people give us," said Tyson. "Third Fleet will continue to be leaders in the innovative application of naval power."
U.S. 3rd Fleet was formed during World War II on March 15, 1943 under the command of Fleet Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey. It leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the International Date Line.