Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced late Tuesday that the commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command is being nominated to head U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM).
While at Fleet Forces, Adm. Phillip Davidson notably led the Navy’s Comprehensive Review of systemic causes that led to the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and John S. McCain (DDG-56) collisions (Defense Daily, Nov. 2, 2017).
In February Mattis announced the nomination of 6th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Christopher Grady to be made full admiral and assigned to succeed Davidson as commander of Fleet Forces (Defense Daily, Feb. 28).
If confirmed, Davidson will succeed Adm. Harry Harris, who himself was nominated to be U.S ambassador to Australia in February (Defense Daily, Feb. 9).
Before the destroyer mishaps with their attendant investigations and reviews, it was expected that Adm. Scott Swift, former commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, could succeed Harris.
In the fallout of the collisions, Swift learned he would not move up to PACOM and last September he submitted a request to retire, giving the DoD and Navy leadership time to select someone to succeed Harris (Defense Daily, Sept. 26, 2017).
In February Mattis announced the nomination of Vice Adm. John Aquilino to succeed Swift at U.S. Pacific Fleet (Defense Daily, Feb. 9).