US Navy forces in Korea welcome new commander

Rear Adm. Michael E. Boyle renders a salute to Rear Adm. Brad Cooper in front of Vice Adm. Phil J. Sawyer, commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, assuming command of U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK). Photo: US Navy

US Naval Forces Korea welcomed a new commander at the Republic of Korea (ROK) Fleet base as Rear Adm. Michael E. Boyle relieved Rear Adm. Brad Cooper.

The ceremony marked the 36th time CNFK has changed command since its establishment July 1, 1957.

“CNFK staff and ROK Fleet staff have labored successfully to make this truly a combined headquarters,” said General Vincent K. Brooks, commander, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, US Forces Korea. “This is the forerunner model for the future of the ROK-US Alliance, not only ready to fight together, but living together everyday, side by side.”

During the ceremony, Cooper was presented the Legion of Merit by Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, US 7th Fleet, for his achievements while serving as commander, US Naval Forces Korea.
Cooper was also presented with the Order of National Security Merit Cheon-su Medal by the Chief of Naval Operations, ROK Navy, Adm. Um Hyun-seong, in a ceremony at Commander, Republic of Korea Navy headquarters on Jan. 9.

Cooper served as commander of US Naval Forces Korea since September 2016 and will next assume command of Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Amphibious Forces 7th Fleet in Okinawa, Japan.

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