News: U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet changes command
Story by Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HAWAII – Adm. Cecil D. Haney took command of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet from Adm. Patrick Walsh during a ceremony, Jan. 20, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert presided over the ceremony. He welcomed Haney and praised Walsh for his leadership during his time as the Pacific Fleet commander.
“[Walsh] knows what it means to take care of a command,” Greenert said. “He has harnessed the Pacific fleets, teamwork, talent and resources, while refusing to take the credit for the command's success.”
Adm. Robert F. Willard, commander, U.S. Pacific Command, also praised Walsh for his work leading all U.S. military support efforts during Operation Tomodachi.
"As the magnitude of this epic disaster reached an unprecedented scale of any of our experience, my senior staff implored me to assign our senior-most joint warfighting commander to lead the U.S. response. That morning, Adm. Pat Walsh assembled elements of his joint task force staff and prepared to depart for Japan,” Willard said. "Every day I observed Pat’s organization, initiative, imagination and drive to provide Gen. Oriki (Japan Joint Staff) and his forces every service they required, including nuclear engineering expertise on an unprecedented scale. Such leadership will never be forgotten in Japan, nor in the Pacific Fleet. That is the legacy of Adm. Pat “Sponge” Walsh.”
Walsh, who is retiring after 34 years of active duty service, leaves with the confidence that the Pacific Fleet is in good hands.
“If ever there was a person who’s ready for the challenge to assume command of the Pacific Fleet, it’s Cecil Haney,” Walsh said. “He’s had a sterling career filled with many challenging assignments. He knows the Pacific.”
Haney, the former deputy of the U.S. Strategic Command, became the 33rd Pacific Fleet commander since the fleet was established in 1941.
“I am grateful and honored to be standing here before you and remain in awe of the opportunities our United States Navy and this nation has provided me,” Haney said. “Given the rich history and importance of this area of responsibility, I will do my utmost to serve you and especially the sailors, civilians and families that make up the U.S. Pacific Fleet.”
The U.S. Pacific Fleet is headquartered in Hawaii and is responsible for more than half the world’s surface, from the West Coast of the United States to the Indian Ocean. It commands approximately 180 ships, 2,000 aircraft and 125,000 sailors and Marines, as well as civilian personnel.