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Pacific Fleet sub force to get new commander

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:45 p.m. HST, Aug 7, 2013

Rear Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer became the new commander of the Pacific Fleet’s Submarine Force at ceremonies this morning at Pearl Harbor.

The change of command ceremony took place at 10 a.m. on a platform atop the hull of the USS Jacksonville submarine.

Sawyer replaced Rear Adm. James F. Caldwell Jr., who will become the Navy's Inspector General. and receive his third star as an admiral.

Sawyer comes to Pearl Harbor after serving as commander of Submarine Group 7 in Yokosuka, Japan.

Caldwell assumed command in December 2010 and ran the daily business of 60 percent of the U.S. Submarine Force. 

Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Cecil Haney told the crowd of several hundred guests that he wasn't able to properly salute Caldwell's achievements because it would take a decade for everyone present to acquire the necessary security clearances to hear about his work.

"For over two-and-a-half years, Frank has worked brilliantly as a leader and has ensured our unique undersea capabilities remain the best in the world while ensuring the highest standards of operational excellence," Haney said.

Haney said Caldwell improved readiness of the Pacific Fleet's undersea surveillance and rescue capabilities. Caldwell also led the Pacific submarine force as it integrated newer Virginia-class submarines into the fleet, implemented a smoking ban and brought women to serve on board some submarines.

The Navy said Caldwell improved the way commanders communicate to help the submarine force better respond to threats. He also improved coordination among submarine warfare commanders.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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