Who is he?
Vice Admiral Scott Swift is a career aviator who entered the U.S. Navy in 1979. Swift was most recently the director of Navy staff in the Office of the Chief of Navy Operations. He was the former head of the U.S. 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan. Swift has a master’s degree from the U.S. Naval War College.
Why is he in the news?
President Barack Obama in November 2014 nominated Swift to replace Admiral Harry Harris as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Harris was confirmed as head of the U.S. Pacific Command in December, but has yet to take up his new post. Swift will also be promoted to a four-star admiral when the Senate fully confirms his nomination.
What can we expect from him?
Swift’s prior experience as head of the Japan-based 7th Fleet will be invaluable in managing the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s increasing presence in the Asia Pacific. One central challenge for Swift will be managing China’s growing naval capabilities, which Beijing has deployed to stake its claims in a number of maritime disputes in the region. Swift is also expected to pay greater attention to expanded naval cooperation with and maritime capacity-building for littoral states in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam and the Philippines.