Adm. Keating nominated to take Pacific command
Adm. Timothy J. Keating, responsible for the defense of the continental United States and Alaska, has been recommended to be the 22nd commander of all U.S. Forces in the Pacific.
Keating, who leads the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, would replace Adm. William Fallon, who has been nominated to be next leader of U.S. Central Command. Fallon would control troops in the Middle East, including the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. Pacific Command leaders
The U.S. Pacific Command was established on Jan. 1, 1947. From 1947 to 1958, the commander in chief of the Pacific Command also headed the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Commanders then were:
» Adm. John H. Towers: January to February 1947.
» Adm. Louis E. Denfeld: February to December 1947.
» Adm. DeWitt C. Ramsey: January 1948 to April 1949.
» Adm. Arthur W. Radford: April 1949 to July 1953.
» Adm. Felix B. Stump: July 1953 to January 1958.
In 1958, the Pacific Fleet was established as a separate command. Commanders in chief of the Pacific Command since then were:
» Adm. Felix B. Stump: January to July 1958.
» Adm. Harry D. Felt: July 1958 to June 1964.
» Adm. Ulysses S. Grant Sharp: June 1964 to July 1968.
» Adm. John S. McCain Jr.: July 1968 to September 1972.
» Adm. Noel A.M. Gayler: September 1972 to August 1976.
» Adm. Maurice F. Weisner: August 1976 to October 1979.
» Adm. Robert L.J. Long: October 1979 to July 1983.
» Adm. William J. Crowe Jr.: July 1983 to September 1985.
» Adm. Ronald J. Hays: September 1985 to September 1988.
» Adm. Huntington Hardisty: September 1988 to March 1991.
» Adm. Charles R. Larson: March 1991 to July 1994.
» Army Lt. Gen. Harold T. Fields: July 1994.
» Adm. Richard C. Macke: July 1994 to January 1996.
» Adm. Joseph W. Prueher: January 1996 to February 1999.
» Adm. Dennis C. Blair: February 1999 to May 2002.
» Adm. Thomas B. Fargo: May 2002 to February 2005.
» Adm. William Fallon: May 2005 to February 2007.
Both Fallon and Keating's appointments must be approved by the U.S. Senate. Fallon's confirmation hearing was held by the Senate Armed Service Committee on Tuesday. No date had been set yesterday for Keating's confirmation hearing.
Keating commanded the Navy's Fifth Fleet when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and captured Saddam Hussein. He also oversaw the active-duty military's response to Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the Gulf Coast area in 2005.
Keating is a native of Dayton, Ohio, and has commanded the North American Aerospace Defense Command since 2004. The command is responsible for defending the continental United States as well as Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida. He also is head of the U.S. Northern Command, which oversees the Department of Defense's homeland defense efforts.
He is a 1971 Naval Academy graduate. A naval aviator, Keating has served numerous tours in the Pacific flying A-7E Corsairs. He also flew combat missions during the 1991 Desert Storm campaigns from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. He has logged more than 5,000 flight hours and 1,200 arrested landings.
Keating assumed command of Carrier Group Five home-ported in Yokosuka in Japan in June 1998. In February 2002 he assumed command of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
His awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Service Medal with Gold Star, Legion of Merit with three Gold Stars, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, three Air Medals and Navy Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars and Combat "V."
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recommended Air Force Lt. Gen. Victor Renuart to fill Keating's position.
Renuart led a fighter squadron during the first Gulf War and was director of operations for Central Command during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Gates said. He most recently served as a senior military adviser to the defense secretary.
"Each of these fine officers has established a record of accomplishment in a variety of complex and challenging assignments," Gates told reporters. "Each has shown the requisite combination of military, diplomatic and intellectual skills to be successful in these two positions."