SANTA RITA, Guam – U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr. visited Guam for the first time to meet with Sailors and other members of the military community here Dec. 9-10.
Harris assumed command of PACFLT in October and visited the island to familiarize himself with his new area of responsibility (AOR). The admiral toured installations on Guam and had the chance to speak and interact with Sailors on a more personal level.
Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class (AW) Justin Currie, of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, was frocked by Harris to his current rank at the squadron’s hangar on Andersen Air Force Base and said he was honored to have the admiral pin his chevrons.
“When he frocked me, it was very unexpected,” Currie said. “I really didn’t know what to think. I can’t describe it. It was such a surprise. I felt a lot of gratitude towards the people on my (detachment). My promotion was only possible because of them and I was very happy to be frocked with them present.”
He added that the admiral’s visit allowed the Sailors to understand more about the fleet, their mission and responsibilities.
“It is important to know who we work for because it helps us to see and understand the broader scope of the Navy,” Currie said. “The personal encounter with our leadership helped bring a better perspective to the work we do.”
PACFLT Master Chief (AW/IDWS) Marco Ramirez accompanied Harris during his visit and met with Sailors during a stop at the U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Chapel Dec. 10.
Ramirez, who recently visited Guam in November, discussed Navy updates with enlisted Sailors from Joint Region Marianas, NBG and tenant commands.
“This is the body of our Navy,” he said. “These are the ones who do things that we’ve asked of them, and they’re doing a lot of great things. It’s really important to keep them informed of what’s going on, what their expectations are and listen to their feedback of what’s hindering them from doing their jobs.”
Ramirez emphasized Harris’ message of being “ready to fight tonight, not tomorrow,” in order to meet the potential threats to our American and allied interests, as well as the trade and transportation traffic that moves through the Pacific.
NBG Dive Locker Navy Diver 2nd Class (SW/DSW) Mark Dvorak said having PACFLT leadership come to Guam helped him understand the size and importance of the Pacific AOR.
“We already know what we do is important, but it emboldens our spirit that we’ve got the admiral and the fleet master chief coming out,” he said. “We’re in an important spot to do the best job that we can.”