The following article was released by Military Sealift Command.
Military Sealift Command in the Atlantic changed hands when Navy Capt. Daniel E. Broadhurst relieved Navy Capt. Janice G. Smith as commodore of Norfolk-based Military Sealift Command Atlantic (MSCLANT) during a change of command ceremony held aboard USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) at Naval Station Norfolk, August 27, 2021. MSC Commander Rear Adm. Michael A. Wettlaufer presided over the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Wettlaufer acknowledged that even though there was a global pandemic happening when Smith took command, she remained poised and fully engaged in executing his three priorities: Health and Safety of the Force, Mission Assurance, and Warfighting Effectiveness. He said, Smith has done what all great commanders do, leaving the command in a better place than she found it.
Smith credited the success of her tenure to the entire MSCLANT staff, representatives from MSC's six out-ports, ship masters, and both civil service and contract mariners. "I have truly enjoyed my tenure here, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from all of you. As a career surface warfare officer, reporting to Military Sealift Command was a new and unique chapter in my career, and I cannot thank all of you enough for the inspiration you provided to me during my time as commodore."
Smith will assume duties as the chief of staff for MSC headquarters in Norfolk.
A native of Jamaica West Indies, Smith assumed command of MSCLANT in March 2020, overseeing 1.1 million tons of strategic cargo loads and discharges, the delivery 100 million gallons of petroleum products, and more than 640 million pounds of ordnance. Likewise, she commanded MSC Combat Logistics Force ships, supporting 14 deployments, eight major fleet exercises, and three fleet ordinance moves. Smith said, MSC's logistics is the lifeblood of the Navy's military forces.
"As the nation's premier maritime transportation organization," Smith said, "our mission is to empower warfighting capabilities by boldly sailing the world's ocean to provide assured logistic service support to the Navy's warfighters. Simply put . . . MSC exits to provide unfailing support to America's warfighters during peacetime and war. What MSCLANT does on a daily basis is very impressive and important. The impact of sustaining warfighters and warfighting effectiveness, directly contributes to our National Defense Strategy."
During Smith's ceremony, she spoke very highly of USNS Comfort's support of the COVID-19 relief mission in New York City. "How our civil service mariners and medical staff conducted themselves during a national crisis was nothing short of amazing, casting their own fears aside to support the mission. They really went above and beyond the call of duty on this one."
After the official orders were read, Broadhurst assumed all duties and responsibilities as MSCLANT commodore. "We need leaders who demonstrate both operational excellence and strong character to propel our Navy forward. Our greatest strength is the incredible pool of talent we attract, and we bear witness to this fact today. Daniel, you are the right leader at the right time to take command of MSCLANT," said Wettlaufer.
Addressing his team for the very first time, Broadhurst said, "I have heard my whole life of the sacrifice and service of merchant mariners in our nation's history. And I am grateful for this opportunity to work closely alongside them. And to the staff and ships of MSCLANT, in particular, I look forward to working with you all as we continue to focus on our vital mission, our talented people, and the care of our ships."
Broadhurst, a native of Suffield, Conn., received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Florida in 1998. He holds a master's degree in Organizational Management from The George Washington University and in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University's Eisenhower School.
He served as an executive officer of USS Stout (DDG 55) from September 2015 to January 2016, deploying to Fifth Fleet with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. He then served as commanding officer from May 2017 to August 2018. Stout was recognized with the Battle "E" Award by Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) Two Six for 2018.