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News Around the Fleet

News | June 7, 2024

C3F Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Story by Commander, U.S 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

Vice Adm. John Wade assumed command of U.S. 3rd Fleet (C3F) during a change of command ceremony on Naval Base Point Loma, June 7. He relieved Vice Adm. Michael “Fonz” Boyle, who took command of C3F in June 2022.

Adm. Stephen Koehler, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and presiding officer of the change of command, opened the ceremony by welcoming Wade and praising Boyle for his leadership during his time as the C3F commander.

"Fonz has embodied professionalism at 3rd Fleet and achieved success across every mission set he encountered,” said Koehler. “Most important has been his relentless drive for rehearsal. Deeper than ideas and concepts, he has pushed and driven the actual processes and orders that are required to make things come alive. It is so vital to get to the actual mechanics to win and that’s exactly what Fonz has done.”

Koehler welcomed Wade saying, “John is handpicked to come here, he’s the exact leader that we need to continue to move the ball down the field. I’m confident with John in command that when called upon, 3rd Fleet will continue to have the fighting force to overmatch and beat any adversary.”

While in command of the Navy’s largest numbered fleet, Boyle employed more than 100 ships and submarines, nearly 400 aircraft and more than 68,000 personnel, and ensured maritime tasking success across exercises and real-world events, by providing and employing combat ready forces in support of national objectives. He trained, certified, and deployed five carrier strike groups, two amphibious ready groups, 14 submarines, and eight independent deploying ships.

Additionally, Boyle stood up C3F’s first Maritime Fires and Effects Center, allowing the Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) to begin integrating and evolving fires, resulting in a more operationalized staff and leading the way for the Chief of Naval Operation’s vision of operational MOCs. His direct oversight drove warfighting capability and capacity ensuring Eastern Pacific naval forces were ready when called. 

“I hope, as we’ve accomplished the challenges facing 3rd Fleet, I’ve been able to give you the greatest gift that a commander can give – a sense of purpose, that you are doing something every day that makes our Navy or our nation better,” said Boyle.

While in command of C3F, Boyle led and directed naval operations in the execution of exercises Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), Northern Edge, Large Scale Exercise, and Pacific Sentry. As RIMPAC 2022 Combined Task Force Commander, he led the execution of the world's largest and U.S. Navy's premier maritime exercise, which included 26 nations, 38 ships, three submarines, 150 aircraft, nine landing forces, and more than 25,000 personnel. He also led U.S. Pacific Fleet’s premier maritime experiment, Integrated Battle Problem 24.1 in which he managed 33 separate vignettes to validate and demonstrate advanced capabilities offered by unmanned platforms and established a foundation for the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to integrate those capabilities with today’s fleet.

“To the greater 3rd Fleet team, I hope you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished – you have certainly made me proud,” said Boyle. “It has been a pleasure to serve with each and every one of you. I also know there is no better officer than John Wade to follow me at 3rd Fleet.”

Wade comes to C3F headquarters from Joint Task Force - Red Hill where he served as commander leading the safe and expeditious defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Oahu, Hawaii.

“Thank you Vice Adm. Boyle for your visionary and inspirational leadership, hard work, and incredible contributions the last two years as the 3rd Fleet commander,” said Wade. “For the 3rd Fleet team, I am honored and excited to be your commander!”

Wade is a native of Port Washington, New York. He is a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He also holds a master’s degree in Information Systems Technology from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, District of Columbia.

“There is no doubt the maritime domain is growing in importance, by extension, therefore… our Navy and Marine Corps team is growing in importance,” said Wade. “We will communicate effectively, mutually support each other, rehearse and synchronize our actions with the joint force and our allies and partners. These efforts are critical for our success!”

As an integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet operates naval forces in the Indo-Pacific in addition to providing realistic and relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy's timeless roles of sea control and power projection. U.S. 3rd Fleet works in close coordination with other numbered Fleets to provide commanders with capable, ready forces to deploy forward and win in day-to-day competition, in crisis, and in conflict.