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New Surface Development Squadron to Accelerate U.S. Navy Lethality

To encourage innovation, experimentation, and combat readiness, Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP), announced the establishment of Surface Development Squadron ONE (SURFDEVRON ONE) during a ceremony, May 22.

SURFDEVRON ONE will integrate unmanned surface vessels (USV) and support fleet experimentation to accelerate delivery of new warfighting concepts and capabilities to the fleet.

Brown, who provided remarks during the ceremony, told the attendees they were witnesses to the future in Surface Warfare.

“By standing up a command dedicated to developing warfighting capabilities and experimentation, we will ensure the U.S. Surface Navy remains the premiere Surface Navy in the world,” said Brown.

SURFDEVRON’s primary functions will be to:
• Execute experimentation to support development of new and emerging surface warfighting capabilities.
• Develop material and technical solutions to tactical challenges.
• Coordinate doctrine, organization, training, material, logistics, personnel and facilities requirements for unmanned surface systems.

To establish the new command, CNSP re-designated Zumwalt Squadron ONE (ZRON ONE) to SURFDEVRON ONE to accelerate new warfighting capabilities to the surface force and lead Fleet integration of unmanned surface vessels. Commanders, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet, approved the SURDEVRON ONE plan, and Chief of Naval Operations endorsed it earlier this year.

Capt. Henry Adams, a native of Houston, provides remarks during the establishment ceremony of Surface Development Squadron ONE.U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Woody S. Paschall

Capt. Henry Adams, a native of Houston, provides remarks during the establishment ceremony of Surface Development Squadron ONE.U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Woody S. Paschall

Capt. Henry Adams relieved Capt. Scott Carroll during a combined change of command/establishment ceremony.

“ZRON ONE embodied Adm. Zumwalt’s legacy of warfighting innovation by leading Fleet integration of the revolutionary ship class that bears his name,” said Carroll. “Establishing this new squadron – with its focus on experimentation and future warfighting technology – fulfills and extends ZRON’s purpose to the rest of the Surface Navy. Although the name has changed, I’m proud to note that ADM Zumwalt’s innovative legacy will persist.”

“I want to recognize and thank Capt. Scott Carroll for his leadership and hard work while Commander of the ZRON,” said Brown. “His leadership was crucial to the introduction of the Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced ship class. He ensured the Zumwalt class was properly manned, the Sailors specifically trained to operate the advanced warfighting systems, and the required material readiness was in place to conduct sustained combat operations at sea.”

The guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), the Navy's most technologically advanced surface ship, underway in formation with the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2). U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ace Rheaume

The guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), the Navy’s most technologically advanced surface ship, underway in formation with the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2). U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ace Rheaume

Adams is SURFDEVRON ONE’s first Commodore. Previously, he led CNSP’s Commander’s Action Group (CAG) and served as Commander, Destroyer Squadron TWO ONE (CDS 21). Other previous command tours include USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12).

“It’s an honor and a privilege to lead the SURFDEVRON ONE team as we work to execute the Navy’s and surface warfare community’s vision to build an organization focused on fleet innovation and experimentation,” said Adams. “We look forward to the challenge and to working with the broader community of interest – both inside and outside of the Navy – as we collaborate to realize SURFDEVRON ONE’s full potential.”

“Hank, throughout your career you have taken on challenges with professionalism, energy, and enthusiasm,” Brown added. “We charge commanders to be ready to ‘accept the extraordinary responsibility of command with full regard,’ and this will be extraordinary.”

The stand-up of SURFDEVRON ONE will be executed in phases over the next several years until it reaches full capacity and capability.

SURFDEVRON ONE draws on the urgency within the National Defense Strategy (NDS), which acknowledges, “We cannot expect success fighting tomorrow’s conflicts with yesterday’s weapons or equipment, and exercising a strategy proven in other Navy warfighting communities.” SURFDEVRON ONE also aligns with the Secretary of the Navy’s vision of an integrated Naval Force that provides maritime dominance for the Nation with a renewed sense of urgency and speed throughout the entire organization.

SURFDEVRON ONE is responsible for the maintenance, training and manning oversight for medium and large Unmanned Surface Vessels (e.g. Sea Hunter / MDUSV) and ZUMWALT-class ships: USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), the future USS Lyndon B Johnson (DDG 1002);

The squadron headquarters will be located onboard Naval Base San Diego but will operate throughout various areas of operation.