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Hammond native lauded at U.S. Navy retirement ceremonies

2013-07-04T00:00:00Z Hammond native lauded at U.S. Navy retirement ceremoniesSpecial from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs nwitimes.com

Vice Adm. Kenneth E. Floyd relieved Vice Adm. Gerald R. Beaman as commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet during a change of command and retirement ceremony held last month on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, Calif.

During the ceremony, Beaman, a native of Hammond, retired from active duty after 35 years of honorable naval service. He had assumed command of U.S. 3rd Fleet in April, 2011 and certified five Carrier Strike Groups, the Amphibious Readiness Groups and 109 independent deployers that had conducted operations and humanitarian missions during deployments to the 4th, 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.

Beaman also served as commander of the Combined Task Force during the world's largest maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific 2012, leading 22 nations, 40 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel, all operating in and around the Hawaiian islands.

Beaman reflected on his career while thanking his mentors, peers and the men and women of the U.S. Navy.

"They are the finest group of leaders and warriors that I have served with," Beaman said. "I continue to be humbled by the professionalism in which they command Third Fleet Sailors."

Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as the guest speaker.

"Walking in the footsteps of Adm. 'Bull' Halsey, who founded Third Fleet back in 1943, (Beaman) applied the same collegial but high standard of leadership to the vital role that this team plays in both training and operating our forces in the vast Pacific theater," Winnefeld said.

Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, officiated the ceremony and presented Beaman with the Distinguished Service Medal recognizing him for his exceptional meritorious service to the government of the U.S.

"He has ensured our forces are ready to meet the demand of this uncertain world we live in," Haney said.

Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the west coast of North America to the international date line.

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