Amphibious Force 7th Fleet welcomes New Commander
OKINAWA, Japan -- Rear Adm. Brad Cooper assumed command of Amphibious Force of 7th Fleet from Capt. Ed Thompson on Jan. 22.
Cooper, who was the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea from September 2016 to January 2018, now leads the entire Task Force 76 (CTF), comprised of nearly 5,500 personnel and aircraft, landing craft, and ships that stretches from Guam to Pohang, Republic of Korea to Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan.
Amphibious Force 7th Fleet mission includes a wide-range of expeditionary operations from disaster relief to crisis response; mine detection and clearing; search and rescue and a myriad of tactical aircraft missions inherent in the MH-60S of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25.
Cooper assumes command shortly after the arrival of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) to Sasebo, which will remain forward-deployed in support of operations with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.
"I'm honored and excited to serve with this incredible team and excited about the operations that are on the horizon," said Cooper. "This staff has an outstanding reputation in 7th Fleet for its professionalism and mission accomplishment. I am confident we will continue to operate at such a high level of performance - as a team that includes this staff and every unit in CTF 76."
Thompson, who had been the deputy commander, served as interim commander for Amphibious Force 7th Fleet for five months. During that time, he commanded Task Force operations while simultaneous overseeing the maintenance, training, certifications and readiness of nine ships in Sasebo and Yokosuka.
“This staff performed superbly during a critical time of refocus on maintenance, training and certifications and the readiness of our task force is a testament to the dedication by everyone in the CTF and on the staff,” said Thompson, who now returns to his role as Deputy Commander. “Our Sailors, ships and staff remain committed to ensuring our force is ready for all assigned missions, the Sailors take pride in their work and demonstrate they are the professionals that our nation requires in the Forward Deployed Naval Forces.”
Commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet, is the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force, headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility. Amphibious Force 7th Fleet is responsible for the full range of expeditionary operations from disaster relief to crisis response.
Amphibious Force 7th Fleet units include Amphibious Squadron 11, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMRON) 7, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), USS Ashland (LSD 48), USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS Chief (MCM 14), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USS Patriot (MCM 7), USS Warrior (MCM 10), Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, Fleet Surgical Team 7, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, and Naval Beach Unit 7.
Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, speaks to members of the Commander, Task Force 76 staff after assuming command from acting commander Capt. Ed Thompson, who will continue his role as Deputy Commander. CTF 76/ Amphibious Force 7th Fleet/Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 is the Navy’s only forward deployed amphibious force and is responsible for conducting amphibious operations in support of a wide range of contingencies, ranging from disaster relief to full combat operations, to ensure security and stability in the region.