Rear Adm. John B. Nowell assumed command of Amphibious Force SEVENTH Fleet, Expeditionary Strike Group Seven (ESG 7) and Task Force 76 (CTF 76) from Rear Adm. Hugh D. Wetherald during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Aug. 29.
Wetherald leaves ESG 7/ CTF 76 to report as Deputy Director for Resources and Acquisitions, J-8, Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. where he has been selected to the rank of Rear Admiral (Upper-Half).
Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, served as the guest speaker and presented Wetherald with his fourth Legion of Merit recognizing him for his leadership and exceptional meritorious service as the ESG 7 commander and to the United States Navy.
Nowell served as Chief of Staff at U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa as well as Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Resources, and Plans, U.S. 6th Fleet.
Task Force 76/Expeditionary Strike Group 7 is the Navy’s only forward deployed amphibious force and is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.
Image: US Navy