Editor’s note: Navy officials initially said Vice Adm. James Malloy was heading to 5th Fleet to assume interim command duties. They later said Malloy went to 5th Fleet to serve in a support role. This story has been updated.
A three-star admiral will aid U.S. Navy forces in the Middle East following the sudden death of Vice Adm. Scott Stearney in Bahrain.
Vice Adm. James Malloy will serve in a temporary support role for 5th Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command, Navy spokesman Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey said Monday.
Navy officials initially characterized Malloy’s temporary duty in 5th Fleet as that of an interim commander, but later said he would serve in a supporting role.
Stearney, 58, was found dead in his Bahrain residence Saturday but foul play is not suspected, according to a social media message posted that day by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.
Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, Stearney’s immediate deputy, remains acting commander of a crucial command that sprawls across 2.5 million square miles of water, including the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
Malloy has served as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for plans and strategy since August, according to his command biography.
The surface warfare officer’s prior assignments include commanding Manama-based Destroyer Squadron 50 and several positions at sea and ashore in Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
As an admiral, Malloy served as U.S. Central Command’s deputy director of operations and commanded Carrier Strike Group 10 in the war against Islamic State fighters.
He also served as the Joint Staff’s vice director of operations.