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A Letter from Commander White

Congresswoman Granger,

It's a pleasure to finally make the acquaintance of the Fort Worth Support

Committee. As you may remember, my predecessor, CDR Jeremiah Petersen,

bestowed upon me the mantle of responsibility that is Commanding Officer of

USS Fort Worth in October 2022. I do not take this responsibility lightly

and know I have big shoes to fill, but I fully intend to continue Fort

Worth's successful legacy as we sail into 2023.

Here's a little about me: I am a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but I was

raised in Mississippi and consider myself a Mississippian. I enlisted in

1995 as a Submariner Electrician's Mate (Nuclear), commissioned through

Officer Candidate School, and graduated from Thomas Edison State University

with a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Electronics in 2003. I hold a Master

of Arts in Defense and Strategy from the Naval War College. My sea tours

include serving as a damage control assistant aboard USS Duluth (LPD 6) and

combat information officer on USS Denver (LPD 9). I've completed a junior

officer sea tour aboard USS Kidd (DDG 100) as the anti-submarine warfare

officer; my first department head tour was as the engineering officer aboard

USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and my second Department Head tour was on

staff with Engineering Assessment at Afloat Training Group Pacific. My

executive officer tour was aboard USS America (LHA 6), and my first

commanding officer tour was aboard USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS 21).

Ashore, I've served as an instructor at Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare

Training Center San Diego and communication officer at Littoral Combat Ship

Squadron One, and I am currently assigned as commanding officer aboard USS

Fort Worth (LCS 3). I am authorized to wear two Meritorious Service Medals,

five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, seven Navy and Marine Corps

Achievement Medals, and various unit and campaign awards. Enough about me!

Let's talk about what the crew has accomplished this quarter.

October saw many celebrations. We said farewell to Lt. Cmdr. McClenning

(combat systems officer), Lt. Quihuis (navigator), Engineman 1st Class

Carothers, and Gummer's Mate 1st Class Varnedoe. Their experience and

commitment to duty will be missed on the deck plates. We also bid a proper

and heartfelt farewell to Cmdr. Peterson after his successful tour as

commanding officer. On Oct. 13, the crew came together for the Navy's 247th

birthday, celebrating not only a great achievement but also enjoying the

great opportunity for our culinary specialists to showcase their abilities

in the galley! The celebration led to many rousing speeches about our naval

heritage and enabled the crew to enjoy some much-deserved fellowship. And as

if the month couldn't have been any more exciting, the chief's mess gave a

warm welcome to their newly-minted chiefs from enduring the gauntlet of

chief season - Chief Sonar Technician Cooper and Chief Gas Turbine Systems

Technician (Mechanical) Gutierrez. I'm certain the chief's mess was as

excited as I was to see another set of khakis on the deck plates!

In November, prior to enjoying the Thanksgiving Holiday, the crew continued

to see the fruits of their labor come to fruition as we got to celebrate our

Sailors of the Year-Sonar Technician 1st Class Service (Senior SOY),

Operations Specialist 2nd Class Campos (SOY), and Electronics Technician 3rd

Class Gillett (Junior SOY). In addition to our Sailor of the Year awards, we

were able to celebrate the reenlistment of Machinist's Mate 1st Class Swe

and Electrician's Mate 1st Class Judah, and our Enlisted Surface Warfare

Specialist (ESWS) pin recipients, Sonar Technician 2nd Class Yanez and

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Blue.

Closing out the year, we said our goodbyes to Sonar Technician 2nd Class

Haynes, Fire Controlman 1st Class Powers, Chief Sonar Technician Grubba, and

Lt. Kuzel (auxiliaries officer), who have all left their mark on Fort Worth.

I'm sure they will continue to set the example wherever they go.

We celebrated our Sailor of the Quarter winners: Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class

Whittiker (Junior SOQ), Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Blue (SOQ),

and Machinist's Mate 1st Class Swe (Senior SOQ). We also congratulated

Command Senior Chief Wilson for earning his ESWS pin. Lastly, we bore

witness to the promotion of Engineman 3rd Class Horn and Culinary Specialist

3rd Class Dayfoster.

The crew's Petty Officer Association welcomed two new First Class Petty

Officers: Hospitalman 1st Class Sturgis and Machinist's Mate 1st Class

Gallo! The crew was also able to rejoice with Fire Controlman 2nd Class

Candanoza, Sonar Technician 2nd Class Gione, Engineman 2nd Class James, and

Sonar Technician 2nd Class Salazar as their hard work paid off when they

earned their ESWS pins. The crew also said their thanks and goodbyes to

Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Schrade, Sonar Technician 2nd Class Salazar,

Sonar Technician 1st Class Lavandero, Senior Chief Engineman Haskins, and

Lt. Gonzales (assistant operations officer) for all their hard work aboard

Fort Worth.

Lastly, the achievements brought on by the New Year could not be

understated. The crew celebrated the reenlistment of Sonar Technician 1st

Class Service and Chief Information Systems Technician Kane. And a huge

congratulations to Command Master Chief Frank Wilson on his promotion to

Master Chief Petty Officer - congrats, CMC!


CDR Alfonza White

Commanding Officer



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