Scott Stear­ney

US Vice Ad­mi­ral, Com­man­der of the Fifth Fleet

Daily Express - - Lives Remembered - Com­piled By MAR­CELLO MEGA

BORN: OC­TO­BER 21, 1960 – DIED: DE­CEM­BER 1, 2018, AGED 58

THE man re­spon­si­ble for the safe tran­sit of much of the world’s oil sup­plies as com­man­der of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet was found dead at his res­i­dence in Bahrain. His death, an ap­par­ent sui­cide, is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the ser­vice he worked in for 36 years.

A highly-dec­o­rated Vice Ad­mi­ral with some 20,000 US and Al­lied sailors un­der his com­mand, Stear­ney’s ships pa­trolled more than 2,500 square miles of wa­ters in the Per­sian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the up­per In­dian Ocean, ter­ri­tory that in­cludes crit­i­cal sea lanes.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illi­nois, Stear­ney gained a BA in eco­nomics at the Univer­sity of Notre Dame. He en­listed in the US Navy in 1982 and had a sto­ry­book ca­reer that in­cluded ser­vice as a Top Gun fighter pilot, with more than 4,500 hours of “mishap-free” flight time.

He made more than 1,000 land­ings on air­craft car­ri­ers, com­manded an air­craft car­rier strike group and served in Kabul, Afghanistan, as chief of a joint task force.

Pre­vi­ous as­sign­ments in­cluded stints as com­man­der of the Navy’s War­fare De­vel­op­ment Com­mand, and di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions for the Cen­tral Com­mand. As re­cently as Septem­ber 9, he ad­mon­ished Iran for desta­bil­is­ing the Gulf re­gion in a con­fer­ence call with the Arab me­dia and vowed to use his fleet to main­tain peace in the re­gion while keep­ing the seas clear of mines.

In re­cent years, the forces he led had con­fronted threats in­clud­ing ma­raud­ing pi­rates, Ira­nian rev­o­lu­tion­ary guard at­tack boats, weapons smug­glers, and Ira­nian-backed Houthi rebels in Ye­men fir­ing mis­siles at com­mer­cial ships. He is sur­vived by his wife and chil­dren.

DEC­O­RATED: Vice Ad­mi­ral Stear­ney

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