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Willard Assumes Command of U.S. Pacific Fleet

Adm. Robert F. Willard, former Vice Chief of Naval Operations, salutes as he’s piped through the sideboys during a change of command ceremony for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet on board Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Willard assumed command of U.S. Pacific Fleet from Adm. Gary Roughead during the ceremony. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James E. Foehl From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Adm. Robert F. Willard relieved Adm. Gary Roughead as commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet during a change of command ceremony held May 8 at Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen presided over the ceremony, which overlooked the historic memorials of USS Arizona and USS Missouri. Mullen recognized Roughead for the latest chapter in an amazing career and passed the helm to Willard who, he said, was sitting like a Tomcat waiting to launch. “Next to heroism and war, this ceremony represents the zenith of military achievement -- a significant milestone in the careers of two great naval officers,” Mullen said. Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Timothy J. Keating, joined the CNO in praising Roughead for his many contributions to the Pacific Fleet and to the state of Hawaii, and in welcoming Willard to the Navy’s largest fleet command. The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses more than 100 million square miles and 172 ships and submarines, 1,296 aircraft, and 122,000 Sailors, Reservists and civilians.

Hawaii to Host 10th Western Pacific Naval Symposium

The U.S. Navy and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet have invited naval leaders from 22 countries to Honolulu for the 10th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) to discuss maritime security and other issues affecting the region’s navies. The symposium, scheduled for Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, allows participants to engage in discussions and training on critical international topics, such as combined exercises, regional security, military exchange programs

Today in U.S. Naval History: April 3

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives)

Today in U.S. Naval History - April 3 1797 - Capt. Thomas Truxtun issued first known American signal book using numerary system 1942 - Adm. Nimitz named Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, a joint command, and retained his other title, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet 1992 - First five coed recruit companies graduate from Orlando, Fla. Naval Training Center. For more information about naval history, visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website at

U.S. Fleet Forces Command Selects New Fleet Master Chief

Adm. Gary Roughead, Commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF), announced the selection of Fleet Master Chief (SS/SW) Rick West June 18 as U.S. Fleet Forces Command Fleet Master Chief (FLTCMC). “It is truly an honor to be here,” said West. This is my first time being stationed in Norfolk and I’m excited about all the positive energy coming off the waterfront along with the great naval history that the Hampton Roads area provides.”

This Day in Navy History

1864 - RADM David Farragut's squadron captures Fort Morgan at Mobile Bay winning control of Mobile Bay 1958 - Massive concentration of Pacific Fleet in Quemoy-Matsu area prevents invasion of islands by China. 1958 - In Taiwan Straits Crisis, Units of 7th Fleet move into Taiwan area to support Taiwan against Chinese Communists. 1963 - The first satellite communications ship, USNS Kingsport (T-AG-164) in Lagos, Nigeria, connected President John F

This Day in Naval History – Feb. 1

1941 - United States Fleet reorganized, reviving Atlantic and Pacific Fleets 1942 - USS Enterprise and Yorktown make first WW II air strike, Japanese Marshall Islands 1955 - Operation Deep Freeze, a research task force, established in Antarctic (Source: Navy News Service)

SAIC Gets USN $21-million Contract

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to provide operational & environmental support to United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF). The contract with the United States Navy is to provide operational and environmental support for fleet training range complexes for the United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF) and Commander, United States Pacific Fleet. The single-award firm fixed-price contract has a one-year period of performance, four one-year options

Today in U.S. Naval History: May 7

Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho is torpedoed, during attacks by U.S. Navy carrier aircraft in the late morning of 7 May 1942. Photographed from a USS Lexington (CV-2) plane. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives

Today in U.S. Naval History - May 7 1779 - Continental Navy sloop Providence captures British brig Diligent off Cape Charles 1934 - USS Constitution completes tour of principal U.S. ports 1940 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders Pacific Fleet to remain in Hawaiian waters indefinitely 1942 - Carrier aircraft sink Japanese carrier Shoho during Battle of Coral Sea For more information about naval history, visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website at

This Day in Naval History – Dec. 31

1862 - USS Monitor founders in a storm off Cape Hatteras, NC. 1941 - Admiral Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of U.S. Pacific Fleet. 1942 - Commissioning of USS Essex (CV-9), first of new class of aircraft carriers, at Norfolk, VA 1948 - Last annual report by a Secretary of the Navy to Congress and the President filed by SECNAV John L. Sullivan. Thereafter the Secretary of Defense would report annually to Congress.

This Day in Naval History - May 07

By Navy News Service 1779 - Continental Navy sloop captures British brig Diligent off . 1934 - USS Constitution completes tour of principal ports 1940 - FDR orders Pacific Fleet to remain in Hawaiian waters indefinitely. 1942 - Carrier aircraft sink Japanese carrier Shoho during Battle of Coral Sea.

USS Cowpens Holds Cruiser Modernization Induction

USS Cowpens

  The guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) was inducted as the first ship to undergo a modernization effort that will significantly upgrade its capabilities in multiple mission areas, Sept. 25, at Naval Base San Diego. The CG Phased Modernization Program is designed to balance the

South China Sea Hotline in the Works

China and Southeast Asian nations have agreed to set up a foreign ministers' hotline to tackle emergencies in the disputed South China Sea, a senior official of the ASEAN grouping told Reuters on Friday. China claims most of the potentially energy-rich sea

China's Navy Drills in South China Sea

China said it conducted air and sea drills in the South China Sea on Tuesday as it stakes an increasingly assertive claim to virtually the whole sea despite rival claims by neighbours. The live-ammunition drills involved more than 100 ships, dozens of aircraft

Chinese Navy Plays Down S. China Sea Exercises

Naval Ensign of the Peoples Republic of China

  The Chinese navy played down recent military drills in the South China Sea and criticised other countries for "illegally" occupying islands in the area, the official Xinhua news service reported on Saturday. China has launched a naval drill in waters to the east of Hainan

U.S. 3rd Fleet Shifts Command

Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, left, assumes command of U.S. 3rd Fleet from Adm. Scott H. Swift, commander U.S. Pacific Fleet during the Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet change of command and retirement ceremony

  Vice Adm. Nora Tyson relieved Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd as commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet during a change of command and retirement ceremony held on Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) while pierside at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego July 24.

Chinese Navy Conducts Drill in South China Sea

South China Sea. Image by Russian Council

 The Chinese navy has announced 10 days of military training in the waters near eastern Hainan Island in the South China Sea starting on Wednesday, amid heightened tensions in the region.   Playing down the significance of the exercises, the Chinese military said the drills

VT Halter Marine President Skinner Retires

Bill Skinner (Photo: VT Halter Marine)

VT Halter Marine, Inc. (VTHM), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), announced a change of senior leadership.   After more than 46 years in the shipbuilding business, including nearly two decades at VT Halter Marine

USC Acquires Zvezda

Russias United Shipbuilding Corporation. Image courtesy: TASS

 United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) has taken on 53.5122% of the voting shares of the long planned Far Eastern Plant Zvezda shipbuilding complex in Russia’s Far East.   Zvezda (a company of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center

Russia, China Hold Joint Naval Exercises

Image: Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy

 The second stage of Russia-China "Joint Sea 2015" maritime exercises are taking place on June 8-11 in Russia’s Far Eastern Primorsky Territory, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Eastern Military District press service.  

Australia, US Alliance on Display for Talisman Sabre

Official U.S. Navy file photo of an EA-18G Growler from the Shadowhawks of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 leading two Royal Australian Air Force FA-18F Super Hornets and a U.S. Navy FA-18E Super Hornet from the Dambusters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 in a flight formation over the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during exercise Talisman Saber 2013.

  More than 33,000 U.S. and Australian personnel will participate in the biennial military training exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 in Australia July 4-19. Talisman Sabre, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defence Force Headquarters Joint Operations Command

Adm. Swift Takes Command of Pacific Fleet

Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., left, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Ashton Carter, Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, and Adm. Scott H. Swift, render honors during the joint U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) and U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

  Adm. Scott H. Swift returned to his home state and relieved Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet during a change of command ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, May 27. "The magnitude of this moment is not lost on me

MCPON, CNO Honor Sailors of the Year

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathon Greenert delivers remarks during the 2014 Sailor of the Year promotion ceremony at the Navy Memorial. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric Lockwood.

  The Navy's 2014 Sailors of the Year (SOY) were meritoriously advanced to chief petty officer during a ceremony held at the Navy Memorial, May 14. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert served as guest speaker at the pinning ceremony hosted by Master Chief Petty Officer of the

China Accelerates South China Sea Land Reclamation: US

South China Sea. Image by Borneo Asean Reports

 China embarked upon extensive land reclamation efforts in the disputed Spratly Islands this year, adding huge amounts of terrain as of December to bolster its presence in an area claimed by rivals, a new Pentagon report said.   According to a WSJ report

'Iron Nickel' is Decommissioned

Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock, director of fleet and joint training for U.S. Fleet Forces Command, offers three cheers during the decommissioning ceremony. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio

Hundreds of current and former crew members, 10 previous commanding officers, and their family members crowded onto the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) to bid farewell to the "Iron Nickel" during the ship's decommissioning ceremony at Naval Base San Diego

China's Artificial Islands in South China Sea Raises U.S. Concerns

Spratly Islands that have undergone significant construction or land reclamation work in the past year. Map by the Center for Strategic and International Studies

 China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the many disputed areas around the South China Sea. The unprecedented land reclamation currently being conducted by China is increasing tensions with the U.S. and its allies, according to Pacific Fleet Commander Harry Harris.  

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