Admiral Bill Gortney retires on flight deck of USS George Washington

Posted at 10:15 AM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 16:48:21-04

NORFOLK, Va. (WTKR) - Admiral Bill Gortney, former Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, retired from the Navy during a ceremony on the flight deck of the USS George Washington at Naval Station Norfolk.

Admiral Gortney entered the Navy as an Aviation Officer Candidate, receiving his commission in the United States Naval Reserve in 1977 and his wings of gold in 1978.

From 2012 to 2014, Admiral Gortney served as Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, headquartered in Norfolk.

"The high point here was when I had command of Fleet Forces Command. I mean look at this fleet, look down this seawall here and see how great it was to be able to work with Sailors every single day," Gortney commented after his retirement ceremony.

His most recent assignment was as Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) from 2014 to 2016.

Throughout his career, Admiral Gortney flew more than 5,360 mishap-free flight hours and completed 1,265 carrier-arrested landings, primarily in the A-7E Corsair II and the FA-18 Hornet.

Gortney says he has no immediate plans following retirement.