The Navy announced Vice Adm. James Foggo will serve as the next director of Navy staff at the Pentagon and Rear Adm. William Lescher will serve as the next deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and resources (OPNAV N8).
Foggo currently serves in a multifaceted role in Naples, Italy, as the commander of U.S. 6th Fleet, commander of Striking and Support Forces NATO, deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Africa and the Joint Force Maritime Component commander Europe.
In that capacity for the past two years he has overseen exercises ranging from the 44th iteration of the annual amphibious Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) event in the Baltic Sea and the Maritime Theater Missile Defense (MTMD) Forum’s first-ever Air and Missile Defense At-Sea Demonstration. His tenure includes an increase in naval forces, particularly the forward-stationing of four Aegis ballistic missile defense destroyers in Rota, Spain, and the creation of a ballistic missile defense and integrated air and missile defense task force, as well as an increase in Russian naval activity in Europe – including both continual submarine presence as well as sporadic aggressive behaviors such as buzzing American ships and planes.
Foggo will replace current director of Navy staff Vice Adm. Robert Thomas.
Lescher’s appointment to N8 is a promotion from his current assignment as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Budget (Financial Management and Comptroller) and director of Fiscal Management Division (OPNAV N82). Whereas Lescher has spent nearly three years focused on the fiscal management side of developing and explaining the Navy’s annual budget request, he will now take a broader view, overseeing the programming and assessment efforts that look at how much of what capabilities the Navy should buy with its anticipated resources.
Lescher has previously worked on budgets and planning at both the Navy and Defense Department levels. When not stationed at the Pentagon, Lescher has served in the anti-submarine and mine countermeasures communities, commanding helicopter squadrons, a mine countermeasures command and control ship (MCS) and the Expeditionary Strike Group 5 that introduced the mine countermeasures-focused afloat forward staging base USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15). He also worked as a test pilot and launched the first guided missiles from a Navy helicopter.
Lescher will replace current DCNO for integration of capabilities and resources Vice Adm. Joseph Mulloy.