Pentagon Announces Nominees to Lead INDO-PACOM, Pacific Fleet
By: Sam LaGrone March 6, 2021
Adm. John Aquilino, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet speaks during the 79th Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii. US Navy Photo
U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. John Aquilino is the Biden administration pick to be the next head of all U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific, the Pentagon announced on Saturday.
The announcement affirms the Trump administration’s December pick of Aquilino to take charge of the largest American combatant command, based in Hawaii. The Biden White House gave the previous administration’s selection an additional review before issuing a new announcement today, two sources familiar with the process told USNI News.
Aquilino has served as the head of PACFLT since May 2018. He is a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a career fighter, pilot flying F-14 Tomcats, F/A-18C Hornets and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. Aquilino previously served as the commander of U.S. 5th Fleet and also as the deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy (OPNAV N3/N5).
Current INDO-PACOM commander Adm. Phil Davidson is expected to retire.
Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, current commander of U.S. 5th Fleet, has been nominated to replace Aquilino as the four-star admiral in charge of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, according to the same announcement.