The history of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT) traces its roots to a brick building in London’s Grosvenor Square and a small team of officers and Sailors who worked to establish the U.S. Navy’s presence in Europe during the early days of World War II.
In August 1940, Rear Adm. Richard L. Ghormley was sent by the Navy to London as a “Special Naval Observer” for informal discussions with the Royal Navy, leading to the establishment of an official U.S. military mission in the United Kingdom. Ghormley and his staff moved into a building at 20 Grosvenor Square (7 North Audley Street), establishing a U.S. Navy presence in London that would endure for nearly 70 years.
Following U.S. entry into the war, Ghormley – now a vice admiral – was appointed as the first Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in Europe (COMNAVEUR) in March 1942, assuming responsibility for administration of all Navy ships, facilities and personnel in the European theater. Under Ghormley’s successor, Adm. Harold F. Stark, this area of responsibility would extend to the Mediterranean Sea by the end of the war in August 1945.
Naval Forces Europe expanded its reach during the Cold War, adding installations in Iceland, Scotland, Spain and Greece, among others. With the growing importance of these installations, the Navy realized it needed a regional command to assume responsibility for facilities in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. To that end, in November 2001, Naval Forces Europe assigned its deputy commander, Rear Adm. David T. Hart, as the first Commander, Navy Region Europe (CNRE).
In September 2007, CNRE relocated its headquarters from 20 Grosvenor Square to Naples, Italy, relinquishing the lease on the brick building rented from the Duke of Westminster for £100 per year. Twelve months later, CNRE expanded into Africa and Southwest Asia, taking over operational and logistical shore service support for Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti and Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Upon the disestablishment of Navy Region Southwest Asia on January 23, 2009, Navy Region Europe officially became Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA).
The latest chapter in our history came on August 1, 2019, when Navy Region EURAFSWA changed its name to Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central. The new name aligns Region EURAFCENT with the three geographic combatant commands it supports – U.S. European Command (EUCOM), U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
Today, Navy Region EURAFCENT is responsible for management of Navy installations and facilities in Naples and Sigonella, Italy; Rota, Spain; Souda Bay, Greece; Manama, Bahrain; Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti; Deveselu, Romania; and Redzikowo, Poland.
Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central
Rear Adm. Christopher S. Gray (May 8, 2020 - Present)
Rear Adm. Yancy B. Lindsey (August 1, 2019 - May 8, 2020)
Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia
Rear Adm. Yancy B. Lindsey (April 16, 2019 - August 1, 2019)
Rear Adm. Rick L. Williamson (March 10, 2016 - April 16, 2019)
Rear Adm. John C. Scorby Jr. (October 4, 2013 - March 10, 2016)
Rear Adm. Anthony E. Gaiani (August 20, 2010 - October 4, 2013)
Rear Adm. David J. Mercer (January 23, 2009 - August 20, 2010)
Navy Region Europe
Rear Adm. David J. Mercer (March 31, 2008 - January 23, 2009)
Rear Adm. Michael R. Groothousen (July 19, 2007 - March 31, 2008)
Rear Adm. Noel G. Preston (June 3, 2005 - July 19, 2007)
Rear Adm. Stanley D. Bozin (April 19, 2004 - June 3, 2005)
Rear Adm. Lewis W. Crenshaw Jr. (June 30, 2003 - April 19, 2004)
Rear Adm. David T. Hart Jr. (November 1, 2001 - June 30, 2003)