Phoenix native named commander of U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet

Vice Admiral Phillip Sawyer has been named commander of U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore.

PHOENIX - Vice Admiral Phillip Sawyer, the new commander of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, is from Phoenix.

The U.S. 7th Fleet is based in Yokosuka, Japan and at any given time includes between 50 and 70 ships and submarines as well as 140 aircraft and roughly 20,000 sailors.

Before Sawyer started moving up the ranks in the Navy, he was a shining star at Maryvale High School.

Sawyer's family shared photos with 12 News of the 1979 Panthorian yearbook which shows Sawyer as the "Beau" of the 1979 class. Also shows the new commander as an all-star football player running past defenders for touchdowns.

It was also at Maryvale that Sawyer met his high school sweetheart and wife, Lisa, who went on to cheer for the University of Arizona.

After high school, Sawyer went to the Naval Academy and graduated in 1983, moving up the ranks as a submarine officer and deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet before being named commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet.

A new role that comes at a tough time as the recovery efforts remain for the missing sailors after the U.S.S. John S. McCain collided with another ship near Singapore.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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