Retired Adm. Robert L.J. Long, who served as the 11th Pacific Forces' commander in chief, died Thursday at the National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He was 82.
Retired admiral directed
Pacific Forces for 4 years
Robert L.J. Long / 1920-2002
SEE ALSO: OBITUARIES
By Gregg K. Kakesako
Long, born in 1920, was Pacific Forces commander from Oct. 31, 1979, to July 1, 1983. He was considered both a realist and an intellectual and served for 40 years following his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1943.
He commanded a Pacific Force of 315,000 men and women. Until August 1989, when the U.S. Central Command was created, the Pacific Command at Camp Smith was responsible for the Middle East, including the Gulf of Oman and the Gulf of Aden. Later, the Seychelles and its adjacent waters were reassigned to Central Command.
Funeral services will be held July 11 at the U.S. Naval Academy's chapel in Annapolis, Md. Long is survived by wife Sara and sons Charles, William and Robert.
Upon his retirement, Long worked as a consultant and was a board member of Northrop Grumman Corp. and Hudson Industries. He also was principal executive of the president's fact-finding committee that investigated the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
During World War II, Long served on the battleship USS Colorado in the western Pacific and earned the Bronze Star.
After World War II, Long attended submarine school. He ended up commanding several submarines, including the USS Leopard and the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines USS Patrick Henry and USS Casimir Pulaski.
Later, he served on Adm. Hyman Rickover's staff, from 1959 to 1960.
In 1972, Long was named commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force as well as vice chief of naval operations. He was assigned to Camp Smith in 1979.
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