New 7th Fleet Commander Arrives in Yokosuka

Vice Admiral Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, arrived in Yokosuka Aug. 25, after assuming command Aug. 23.

Prior to arrival, he participated in the International Maritime Security Symposium hosted by the Indonesian Navy in Bali, Indonesia.

Vice Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer, a native of Phoenix, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. He received a master’s degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University.

A career submarine officer, he served as a division officer on USS Bluefish (SSN 675); as engineer officer on USS Florida (SSBN 728) (Blue); and executive officer on USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716). His afloat command assignments were aboard USS La Jolla (SSN 701) and Submarine Squadron 15 in Guam.

For shore duty assignments, Sawyer served on the Joint Staff, Operations Directorate as a branch chief for anti-terrorism and force protection; deputy director for operations at Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet; executive assistant to the deputy commander-in-chief, United States Pacific Fleet; Bureau of Naval Personnel the submarine force placement officer and assistant captain detailer; instructor at Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, Atlantic; chief of staff of United States Strategic Command Special Activities; and commander, Submarine Force Atlantic. He also served as vice commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command; commanded Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet; and his most recent assignment was deputy commander, U.S. Pacific.

Sawyer’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the U.S. Navy’s forward deployed fleets. At any given time there are roughly 50-70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the region. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.