After two years at the helm, Rear Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer turned over duties as commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), and commander of Task Force 134, to Rear Adm. Frederick J. “Fritz” Roegge in a ceremony at Sharkey Theater on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sept. 3.
Having assumed command in August 2013, Sawyer ran the daily business of 60 percent of the U.S. Submarine Force. This included oversight of the Pacific component of the nation’s ballistic missile submarine force as Task Force 134.
Sawyer was instrumental in the integration of women as members of eight submarine crews and has laid the groundwork for women to enjoy further opportunities to serve in the submarine community.
During his command, Sawyer deployed 42 submarines through 29 attack and guided missile submarine deployments and 40 strategic deterrent patrols in support of six combatant commands.
Sawyer, a native of Phoenix, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in systems engineering. He received a master’s degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University.
Sawyer will remain in Hawaii, taking over as deputy commander and chief of staff for U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Adm. Cecil B. Haney, commander, U.S. Strategic Command, was the ceremony’s guest speaker. Haney also received the report of relief for Task Force 134 from both Sawyer and Roegge, while Adm. Scott H. Swift, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, received the report of relief for the Pacific Submarine Force.
During the ceremony, Sawyer received the Legion of Merit for his superior service to the Pacific Submarine Force.
Roegge, who most recently served as director, military personnel plans and policy division, at the office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C. will continue the work started by Sawyer.
An honors graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, Roegge was commissioned through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. He earned a master of science degree in engineering management from the Catholic University of America and a master of arts degree with highest distinction in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.
The Pacific Submarine Force provides anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, precision land strike, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and early warning and special warfare capabilities to U.S. Pacific Command and strategic deterrence capabilities to U.S. Strategic Command.
Image: US Navy