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Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer to Serve as Next U.S. 7th Fleet Commander

Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, outgoing Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), walks through the side boys during the COMSUBPAC change of command ceremony on Sept. 3, 2015, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. US Navy photo.

Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer was selected to serve as the next commander of U.S. 7th Fleet in the Pacific, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday.

Sawyer, who has served as the deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet since September 2015, will also be promoted to the rank of vice admiral.

A career submariner, Sawyer is quite familiar with the 7th Fleet area of operations. Before heading to Pearl Harbor to work at PACFLEET, Sawyer commanded all submarines in 7th Fleet as commander of Submarine Group 7/Task Force 74/54, and then all submarines in the Pacific as commander of Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The Phoenix native commanded USS La Jolla (SSN-701) and Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 15 in Guam.

Sawyer graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1983 with a bachelor of science in systems engineering.

He will replace Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, who has led 7th Fleet since September 2015. The Pentagon has not yet announced Aucoin’s next assignment.