Cooper Fingers Over Command of U.S. fifth Fleet to Wikoff > United States Navy > News Tales

The time-honored ceremony marked Wikoff’s assumption of command of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), U.S. fifth Fleet, Mixed Maritime Forces (CMF), and the Worldwide Maritime Safety Assemble (IMSC).

Cooper, who assumed command in Could 2021, led greater than 16,000 Sailors, Marines, Coastguardsmen, and civilians. As CMF commander, he oversaw a 41-nation maritime partnership in one of many world’s most numerous and difficult space of operations.

Army Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), presided over the ceremony. Throughout his remarks, he highlighted Cooper’s accomplishments whereas in command, noting the significance of individuals on the coronary heart of his success in guaranteeing maritime safety.

“His funding in our folks, our companions, and to creating progressive approaches has really made a distinction in fifth Fleet and throughout the Central Area,” Kurilla mentioned, noting Cooper’s management superior U.S. and coalition naval forces by means of quite a few complicated joint and mixed maritime operational occasions, leading to enhanced safety and stability within the maritime atmosphere.

Lately, Cooper led efforts to counter Houthi malign actions within the Crimson Sea by means of Operation Prosperity Guardian, bringing greater than 20 nations collectively to supply a persistent presence within the Crimson Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb, and the Gulf of Aden. Additional, he led U.S. Navy efforts to decrease Houthi drone and missile capabilities by means of the execution of greater than 100 strikes inside Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen at the side of Operation Poseidon Archer. 

He additionally established the primary naval unmanned and synthetic intelligence activity power, Job Power 59. Throughout his tour, TF 59 went from experimentation to operations, together with the primary use of weapons aboard an unmanned platform.

Cooper spearheaded Operation Unified Takedown, ensuing within the largest seizure of unlawful weapons and medicines, smuggled out of Iran, within the historical past of Center East naval operations.

With an eye fixed towards increasing maritime safety, Cooper additionally cast new partnerships with Caspian Sea nations and different central European international locations.

As CMF commander, Cooper expanded the coalition to its best level in 22 years, 41 nations, and in addition established two new activity forces: Mixed Job Power (CTF) 153, targeted on the Crimson Sea area; and CTF-154, main multinational maritime coaching at areas throughout the Center East. CMF activity forces supplied maritime safety, performed counter piracy and counter terrorism operations, and combated unlawful drug smuggling, confiscating over $1.4 billion in narcotics throughout his tour. Because the commander of IMSC, he grew its membership from eight to 12 nations.

Cooper mentioned none of it may have been achieved with out the distinctive efficiency of the Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen deployed to U.S. fifth Fleet.

“Each success begins and ends with folks, and that has definitely been the case right here within the Center East these previous few years” Cooper mentioned. “The extraordinary Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who’ve deployed to this area have been, and proceed to be, on the prime of their sport. I couldn’t be prouder of their achievements and contemplate it a privilege of a lifetime to serve alongside them throughout this tour.”

Cooper reviews subsequent to Central Command at MacDill Air Power Base in Tampa, Florida, because the CENTCOM Deputy Commander.

Wikoff assumes command following his most up-to-date tour as Performing Commander, Naval Air Forces/Performing Commander, Naval Air Power, U.S. Pacific Fleet. A naval aviator, Wikoff served operationally in Fighter Squadron (VF) 102 onboard USS America (CV 66) and VF 154 ahead deployed to Atsugi, Japan on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). He commanded Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, deployed onboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65), VFA 122, Service Air Wing (CVW) 3, deployed onboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and Service Strike Group (CSG) 5, ahead deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

“I’m notably excited to steer our like-minded companions within the Mixed Maritime Forces with whom the US stands shoulder-to-shoulder within the protection of Freedom of Navigation and Guidelines-Primarily based Worldwide Order,” Wikoff mentioned.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command is the maritime part commander of U.S. Central Command within the U.S. fifth Fleet space of operations. It encompasses about 2.5 million sq. miles of water space and contains the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Crimson Sea and components of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of greater than 20 international locations and contains three important choke factors on the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Bab al-Mandeb.