POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jul 22, 2011
Navy Vice Adm. Cecil E.D. Haney is being appointed to the rank of admiral and is being assigned as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, based at Pearl Harbor, the Pentagon said Thursday.
Haney is currently serving as deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He will replace Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, who became commander of the Pacific Fleet on Sept. 25, 2009.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said Haney "is a brilliant, proven leader, and he will excel as the commander" of the Pacific Fleet if confirmed by the Senate.
"He was a trusted member of my team while I commanded the Pacific Fleet, and as the first director of warfare integration on my staff in Washington," Roughead said. "He is a keen and experienced operator, and he knows the Pacific. He is the ideal officer to lead our Pacific Fleet in the years ahead."
Haney is a native of Washington, D.C., and a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in ocean engineering.
Haney took command of the attack submarine USS Honolulu in June 1996. He commanded Submarine Squadron 1 from June 2002 to July 2004, and Submarine Group 2 from October 2006 to March 2008.
The Pacific Fleet is the world's largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles — more than half the earth's surface — from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. The command consists of about 180 ships, nearly 2,000 aircraft and 125,000 sailors, Marines and civilians.
Walsh is the 32nd Navy officer to command the Pacific Fleet since it was established in February 1941 with headquarters at Pearl Harbor. Past commanders include Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz and Adm. Raymond Spruance.
The Pacific Fleet staff reports administratively to the chief of naval operations and operationally to the U.S. Pacific Command, headquartered at Camp H.M. Smith.
Walsh, a former vice chief of naval operations, succeeded Adm. Robert F. Willard in 2009 as Pacific Fleet commander. Willard went on to become commander of U.S. Pacific Command, a joint military command that is typically run by a Navy admiral.
Walsh's next assignment has not been announced.