Vice Admiral Karl O Thomas is the 53rd commander of 7th Fleet, the world’s largest forward-deployed naval force. He took over the helm from VAdm William R Merz.
VAdm Merz assumed command of 7th Fleet on Sept 12, 2019. He lead many bilateral and multi-national exercises that include Talisman Sabre, Keen Sword, ANNUALEX, Pacific Vanguard, and Malabar. Under his leadership, 7th Fleet also strengthened naval integration between US Navy and the Marine Corps and conducted numerous subject matter expert exchanges and combined operations with forces in the region.
VAdm Thomas comes to 7th Fleet from the Pentagon where he most recently served as assistant deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans, and strategy. He previously served in Japan as Task Force 70 Commander, Carrier Strike Group 5 deploying on USS Ronald Reagan based out of Yokosuka, Japan.
US Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is US Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in the Asia-Pacific region. -shp/adj/aaa (Photo=: US Navy)