Walsh to take command of Pacific Fleet
Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, a veteran fighter pilot who flew in Operation Desert Storm, will take over command of U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in a 10 a.m. ceremony on Friday.
The current commander of Pacific Fleet, Adm. Robert Willard, next month is assuming command of U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith.
Walsh was serving as vice chief of naval operations at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Friday’s change of command will take place at pier Kilo 8 at Pearl Harbor.
Adm. Timothy Keating, who will be stepping down as head of U.S. Pacific Command, will be a speaker at the change of command, along with Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the new vice chief of Naval operations, officials said.
Walsh will become the 32nd commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet in a lineage that included Adm. Chester Nimitz’s service during World War II.
U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses half the globe and includes more than 170 ships and submarines, 1,300 aircraft and 122,000 sailors, reservists and civilians.
Walsh graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
He flew with the “Golden Dragons” of Attack Squadron 192, deployed to the Indian Ocean aboard the aircraft carrier USS America, and was later selected as the junior officer “Tailhook” pilot of the year.
With the “Blue Angels” flight demonstration team, Walsh flew the left wingman and slot pilot positions.
When he returned to the fleet, Walsh joined the “Golden Warriors” of Strike-Fighter Squadron 87 as the operations officer, Walsh flew combat missions in support of Operations Desert Storm and Provide Comfort from the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Walsh commanded the “Gunslingers” of Strike-Fighter Squadron 105 for missions in support of Operations Southern Watch and Deny Flight from the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He commanded Carrier Air Wing 1 for deployment in support of Operation Southern Watch aboard USS John F. Kennedy and Carrier Group 7 and the USS John C. Stennis Strike Group for a deployment to the western Pacific Ocean.
Before becoming vice chief of Naval operations, Walsh commanded U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet, while also commanding the Combined Maritime Forces conducting Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and maritime security operations in the Middle East.