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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.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Sounds like a really good pick for the 7th Fleet. Looking for great things to come from the future VADM with his background as a submariner.

    One of his predecessors, Chester W. Nimitiz, studied submarines in Germany back when they were first being introduced to the arsenal of naval power in the early part of the 20th century,. He became an expert in their diesel engines. He was instrumental in establishing the US submarine base in Hawaii. In fact, he chose that same sub base as his temporary headquarters after he was made CINCPAC immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor in WW-II.

  • Kevin Quiles

    Great Man right here. He was my first CO on board USS LA JOLLA and I learned a lot from him. I still remember when he stopped me in the P-Way on board the FRANK CABLE while he was in command of SUBRON 15in Guam just to catch up.