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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Real Adm. (select) Phillip Sawyer took command of Submarine Group Seven during a ceremony Monday at Yokosuka’s Fleet Theater.

As commander of the submarine group and Task Forces 74 and 54, Sawyer is responsible for both U.S. submarine operations in the Pacific and 5th Fleet submarine operations near the Middle East and Indian Ocean.

Sawyer arrives after a stint as vice commander of the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command. His previous afloat commands include the USS La Jolla and Submarine Squadron 15 in Guam.

Sawyer took the helm from Rear Adm. Robert Thomas Jr., who had commanded the submarine group since April 2010.

Thomas moves on to a job as vice director for operations at the Pentagon’s joint staff office.

From staff reports

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