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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, November 23, 2004

New Pacific Fleet sub chief named

By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer

The Pentagon yesterday announced that Rear Adm. Jeffrey B. Cassias is replacing Rear Adm. Paul F. Sullivan at the helm of the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force headquartered at Pearl Harbor.

Sullivan, who was on the court of inquiry that looked into the 2001 sinking of the Ehime Maru fishing vessel by the submarine USS Greeneville, took the job in August 2003.

Cassias is commander of Navy Region Northeast/Submarine Group Two in Groton, Conn. and Submarine Group Ten in Kings Bay, Ga.

Sullivan will retire following the change of command scheduled for April after heading up the Pacific submarine force for nearly two years.

There are 37 submarines in the Pacific Fleet in Hawai'i, Washington state, California and Guam: 27 attack subs, six capable of firing ballistic missiles, three guided missile submarines and one research sub. Seventeen attack submarines are based at Pearl Harbor.

A third attack submarine is being moved to Guam, and the Navy is weighing whether to base more submarines in the Pacific for intelligence gathering, transporting commandos, and launching cruise missiles as military threats in the theater increase and needs in the Atlantic wane.

Twelve U.S. Navy submarines were involved at the outset of the Iraq war, and USS Cheyenne out of Pearl Harbor was the first U.S. warship to launch Tomahawk missiles into Iraq.