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Pottenger Passes NECC Torch to Tillotson

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100416-05

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Katrin Albritton, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Command of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)changed hands April 9 during a change of command ceremony on board Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story.

Rear Adm. Michael P. Tillotson assumed command and relieved Rear Adm. Carol M. Pottenger.

Adm. J.C. Harvey, Jr., commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, gave the ceremony's keynote address.

"This ceremony recognizes and celebrates what we truly value in the Navy – the exercise of command," said Harvey. "It is a time to take note of Admiral Pottenger's many accomplishments and to welcome Admiral Tillotson aboard."

The tradition of celebrating the change in command is not just about the men and women in command, but also about the command itself. For NECC, this includes the more than 40,000 Sailors who carry out an array of duties and ensure thousands of operational successes around the world.

"In a time where we have never been so pressed to deploy our forces forward to support so many missions, in so many places, your leadership has made a difference," Harvey said to Pottenger. "Simply put, you took over a very young command, you gave your people a vision for the future and you executed superbly."

Before Pottenger read her orders relieving her as the commander of NECC, she recounted her experience learning about the capabilities that NECC forces provide, and the lessons she learned from the men and women who make these capabilities a reality. It was these experiences and these Sailors, that made the ceremony difficult for her.

"This is not a day that I have looked forward to. I am relinquishing command, and that is always something to be let go of reluctantly," said Pottenger. "More importantly, I am relinquishing command of an extraordinary force, in what has been a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Pottenger, who assumed duties as NECC commander from Tillotson nearly two years ago, was nominated by President Barak Obama in March for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as deputy chief of staff for capability development at Supreme Allied Command Transformation.

After assuming command, Tillotson recognized Pottenger's hard work and leadership through NECC's maturation as a Type Command.

"Admiral Pottenger, you have indeed done a superb job," he said. "The force was postured on the operational side when you took over. What we did not have was the foundation of the Type Command - the parts and pieces that make it all come together. You ensured these forces are ready and established the programs and processes that are necessary. I look forward to carrying on those traditions, and I look forward to commanding this organization as we move into the future."

Prior to arriving at NECC, Tillotson served as deputy director of Operations, U.S. Central Command.

NECC serves as the single functional command for the Navy's globally deployed expeditionary forces and as central management for the readiness, resources, manning, training and equipping of these forces. Expeditionary forces are organized to accomplish specific objectives in other countries.

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