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Pacific Fleet getting new commander

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 10:31 a.m. HST, Jun 24, 2013

Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., currently serving as assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, has been nominated to be the new Pacific Fleet commander.

The current Pacific Fleet commander — Adm. Cecil E. D. Haney — will lead the U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., today’s Pentagon announcement said.

The Pacific Fleet encompasses nearly 200 surface ships and submarines and nearly 1,100 aircraft from the U.S. West Coast to the Indian Ocean. It includes more than 140,000 sailors and civilians.

The Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska is assigned to deter and detect nuclear attacks.

Haney assumed command of the Pacific Fleet in 2012

The Pentagon today also announced that Rear Adm. James F. Caldwell Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force will become the Navy’s new inspector general.

Caldwell will be promoted to the rank of vice admiral. He is to assume command of the Pacific Fleet’s submarines in June 2012.

Harris was born in Japan and moved to Tennessee when he was two, later living in Florida. He is the son of a Navy petty officer and a Japanese postwar bride. 

Harris graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978. His postgraduate education includes Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Georgetown's School of Foreign Service and Oxford University. 

Harris commanded VP-46, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 1; Joint Task Force-Guantanamo; the U.S. 6th Fleet; and, Striking and Support Forces NATO.

Harris has logged 4,400 flight hours, including more than 400 combat hours. His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal .

Haney is a 1978 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering.

Haney commanded the nuclear attack submarine USS Honolulu (SSN 718) in June 1996. Haney commanded Submarine Squadron 1 from June 2002 to July 2004 and Submarine Group 2 from October 2006 to March 2008.

Haney’s decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit , Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various campaign and unit awards.

Caldwell received his commission graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1981. 

Caldwell commanded USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) home ported in Norfolk, Va.; Submarine Development Squadron 12 in New London, Conn.; and Submarine Group 9 in Bangor, Wash.

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