Change of Command Ceremony Held at Naval Support Activity Bahrain

Change of Command Ceremony Held at Naval Support Activity Bahrain

Rear Adm. William K. Lescher relieved Rear Adm. Peter J. Fanta as commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5 during a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Aug. 26.

Fanta took command of ESG 5, Aug. 24, 2011. As commander of ESG 5, he commanded U.S. Task Forces 51 and 59, overseeing a wide range of missions including maritime security operations and crisis response.

During his farewell remarks, Fanta said how privileged he was to serve and work alongside such great professionals.

Any Commander out here survives the tempo and the complexity of operations only because of what the staff does as a whole,” said Fanta. “I want to thank each of you for the camaraderie and professionalism you have shared with me during my tour. I would proudly serve with you all again.”

Guest speaker, Vice Adm. John Miller, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT)/5th Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces, commended Fanta for his leadership, hard work, and ability to execute every mission.

Nothing is more important to the vitality of our Navy than effective leadership, and nothing is more critical to maintaining the covenant of trust between the American public and our service,” said Miller. “For the last year, Pete Fanta has made it his business to maintain that trust and has done a masterful job at leading his team.”

Fanta will report to the Joint Staff in Washington D.C. as Deputy Director for Resources and Acquisition, J8.

Miller also welcomed Lescher and offered his best wishes in assuming command of the strike group.

One of the great strengths of this Navy is that just when you think that things couldn’t get better, the system produces a new commander with his own impressive set of qualifications and a burning desire to make his own mark in command. I know you are ready for the multitude of challenges ahead,” said Miller.

Lescher praised Fanta for his leadership and said, “I look forward to building on the superb work of Admiral Fanta and the ESG 5 staff, with a strong focus on readiness and growing leaders.”

ESG 5 commands amphibious forces deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The forces are tasked with crisis response missions, humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

Press Release, August 30, 2012