Despite a Defense Department announcement that a rear admiral has been selected to command the Hawaii-based Pacific Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, it is speculative to conclude that unit is moving to Misawa Air Base, Navy officials said.

In a news release posted Friday on the DefenseLINK Web site, Adm. Vern Clark, chief of naval operations, announced that Rear Adm. Kenneth W. Deutsch is being assigned as commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, Pacific, and commander, Task Force 12, at Misawa, Japan.

However, Navy officials said it’s too early to say if the command would move with the admiral.

“That would be a premature statement,” said Lt. j.g. Mike Morley, a Pacific Fleet spokesman in Hawaii.

At any time, Morley said, “the Navy has several plans concerning placement and most efficient use of forces worldwide.”

A spokesman at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan was also unaware of any pending move to Misawa.

“As far as we know, we have not been told anything about anybody moving,” Commander, Naval Forces Japan spokesman Jon Nylander said late Monday.

Deutsch will succeed Rear Adm. Anthony L. Winns, currently serving as commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, Pacific, and Task Force 12 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Deutsch now works at the CNO office in Arlington, Va.

According its Web site, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, Pacific, supports the U.S. Pacific Fleet and unified commands by providing interoperable, combat-ready and forward-deployable U.S. Naval Aviation Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces.

Under that command, CTF-12 conducts anti-submarine warfare operations theater-wide.

The 7th Fleet’s CTF-72 headquarters at Kamiseya, Japan, near Atsugi, operates fixed-wing P-3C Orion and EP-3 Aries patrol squadron aircraft from Misawa Air Base, Okinawa’s Kadena Air Base and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now