Rear Adm. Gregory Fenton took command of U.S. Naval Forces Japan and Navy Region Japan in a change of command ceremony today in Yokosuka, Japan.
Fenton relieved Rear Adm. Matthew Carter, who led naval forces in Japan since March 2015.
Fenton most recently served as Director of Operations and Plans (OPNAV N31) on the chief of naval operations’ staff at the Pentagon. He previously served several tours in Japan, including as commanding officer of aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73), which at the time was the forward deployed carrier operating out of Yokosuka.
“As I look forward to the future of CNFJ / CNRJ, I am mindful of the power that key partnerships generate, including those continuing relationships with the Kaijo Jieitai (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) and Japan’s Self Defense Forces,” Fenton said, according to a Navy news release.
“It is vitally important that we continue to nurture and further develop those relationships, closely coordinating our activities as we face the current and future challenges across the region. We must also continue to recognize the roles that our installations and support infrastructure play in supporting fleets, especially 7th Fleet, and our joint and international partners.”
Fenton, a Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School graduate, also served as a fighter flight instructor and a test pilot, and held command positions with fighter squadrons and on USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS Denver (LPD-9).
Carter, a Virginia Military Institute graduate and P-3 Orion pilot, will leave Japan and head to Hawaii, where he will serve as deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.
“I thank you immensely,” Carter said to the CNFJ/CNRJ staff during the change of command ceremony.
“You rose to every task and exceeded all expectations. This was, and is, truly a team effort.”
U.S. Naval Forces and Navy Region Japan supports U.S. 7th Fleet and is responsible for naval shore activities at Naval Air Facility Misawa, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Fleet Activities Sasebo, Fleet Activities Okinawa and Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia.