U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet holds change of command ceremony

By Stephen Carlson  |  Sept. 20, 2017 at 9:11 AM
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Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet changed command in a ceremony in Bahrain Tuesday, marking turnover in command in one of the Navy's key sectors of operation.

Vice Adm. John C. Aquilino has taken the place of Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan as commander of naval forces in the central command area of operations.

"NAVCENT's list of accomplishments over the past two years is long and distinguished. In a very dynamic and at times tense area of operations, the team here has performed magnificently time and time again," Central Command commander Gen. Joseph Votel said at the ceremony.

Donegan had held command of the 5th Fleet since 2015 with authority over 15,000 personnel charged with security operations.

"On the one hand, it is an opportunity to look back at the many successful accomplishments, but I'd also like to say a final farewell to a wonderful team that has really helped me along the way and to great friends that I have made in the region," Donegan said at the ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

"I'll especially miss the strong bonds and relationships and personal friendships that I made in Bahrain," Donegan said.

Aquilino previously served as deputy chief of Naval Operations for the Navy's Operations, Plans and Strategy division.

The U.S. 5th Fleet's area of operations covers roughly 2.5 million square miles and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and sections of the Indian Ocean. Additionally, 20 countries and strategic points, such as the Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal, are under it's responsibility for security and freedom of navigation operations.

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