Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, center, relieves Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, left, Jan. 18 at the Naval Surface Forces headquarters in San Diego. (U.S. Navy)

SAN DIEGO - Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown relieved Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden as commander, Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) and commander, Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, Jan. 18.

The turnover was conducted at SURFOR headquarters

“It has been an honor to serve with you," Rowden told the SURFOR straff. "I am proud of all of you and all you do to keep our nation free."

Brown assumed command of SURFOR after having served as commander of Navy Personnel Command (NPC) and deputy chief of naval personnel. A native of Lowell, Mass., Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. He holds a Master of Science in Operations Research from the Naval Post Graduate School and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

“I am honored to assume command of Naval Surface Forces and command of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet,” said Brown. “I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the Surface Force and its brave Sailors.”

With the mission of warfighting and winning at sea, commander, SURFOR provides Combatant Commanders with lethal, ready, well-trained, and logistically-supported Surface Forces to assure, deter and win at sea.