NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NAPLES, Italy - Commander, Submarine Group (CSG) 8 held a change of command ceremony in Naples, Italy, June 16.
Rear Adm. Anthony C. Carullo relieved Rear Adm. William J. Houston as commander of the submarine group. Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, served as a guest speaker for the ceremony as both a former CSG 8 commander and fellow submariner.
“Houston is a submariner with a tremendous reputation – always professional, always balanced… with quiet competence and superb interpersonal skills,” said Foggo. “He’s exceptionally thoughtful; he listens, studies, acquires a considerable depth of knowledge and then works hard with everyone to get solutions… He is an outside-the-box thinker, and he’s exactly what we need in this era of Great Power Competition.”
Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet also provided remarks.
“Our job in the military is to give our national leadership options, and that’s what he did,” said Franchetti. “Houston and his teams were always quick to action, ensuring that we were always ready to support three different combatant commanders and all our allies and partners on a minute’s notice.”
Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, not in attendance at the ceremony, spoke highly of Houston’s impact while serving as CSG-8 and deputy commander, U.S. 6th Fleet.
"Houston's tour as Submarine Group 8 has been nothing short of extraordinary," said Caudle. "His visionary leadership revolutionized how the Submarine Force operates in the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) area of operations (AOR), and under his guiding leadership, the Submarine Force conducted 32 missions vital to national security, 39 U.S. and NATO submarine missions, and 14 ASW exercises with allied nations. His direct efforts fostered our Theater Undersea Warfare campaign plan to develop a long-term, theater-wide strategy for the undersea domain."
Foggo presented Houston with the Legion of Merit for his meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements while serving his role in the U.S. 6th Fleet AOR.
Houston thanked Sailors and leadership for the extraordinary work performed during his tenure.
“It has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve as Director Maritime Operations, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa, the deputy commander of U.S. 6th Fleet, and as the commander, Submarine Group 8, and lead a team of teams that operated from the Arctic Ocean to South Africa,” said Houston. “It has been tremendously rewarding to work with EUCOM and U.S. Africa Command and operate with our allies and partners every single day. Everyone’s efforts contributed to international security and deterring major power conflict. I am humbled to have played a small role in leading such a diverse and talented team.”
Carullo thanked Houston for his contributions and briefly spoke about his vision for CSG 8.
“I’m confident that Submarine Group 8 is ready to excel across the full spectrum of submarine operations,” said Carullo. “From the continuous protection of our homeland to the far-forward defenses of our nation and our allies, our elite undersea force stands ready because of the toughness of our submariners and the steadfast tenacity of the United States Submarine Force. In this era of Great Power Competition, it is our duty to prepare and posture the force to be combat ready.”
Carullo’s previous assignments include commander, Task Force 69; commanding officer, USS Greeneville (SSN 772); executive assistant to the Director of Undersea Warfare (OPNAV N97); and executive assistant for Strategic Strike in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He returns to Naples following a tour at U.S. Strategic Command, where he served as deputy director for Strategic Targeting and Nuclear Mission Planning (J5N).
Houston’s next assignment will be the office of OPNAV N97.
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition formally communicating the continuity of command authority to the members of the command.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with Allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.