Rear Admiral Mark Fox to take over as commander of US Naval Forces, US Central Command, Bahrain

June 12, 2010

Mark Fox

Rear Admiral Mark I. Fox will this month take over as commander of the US Naval Forces, US Central Command, in Bahrain. The 54-year-old Navy officer will replace Vice Admiral William Gortney who was on May 17 nominated director, Joint Staff, Pentagon, by US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates.

A native of Abilene, Texas, Rear Admiral Mark I. Fox was commissioned in June 1978 upon graduation from the US.Naval Academy and was designated a naval aviator in March 1980.
According to the Navy website, Fox has deployed from both coasts in six fleet tours, flying the A-7E Corsair II and FA-18 Hornet in over 100 combat and contingency missions off the coasts of Lebanon and Libya, and over the Balkans and Iraq. Combat highlights include scoring the first Navy MiG kill of operation Desert Storm prior to dropping his bombs on an airfield in western Iraq on January 17, 1991, and leading the opening “Shock and Awe” strike of operation Iraqi Freedom on March 21, 2003.

Fox has logged over 4,800 flight hours and 1,347 arrested landings on 15 different aircraft carriers, the Navy website says.

Military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Gold star, Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat ‘V,’ and Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster. He has completed executive education programs at the Naval War College, National Defense University, Army War College, Harvard University, and UNC Chapel Hill.

Last month, the Navy announced that Charles Gaouette would be the deputy commander of the US Naval Forces, US Central Command, in Bahrain. Gaouette was executive assistant to Integration of Requirements and Resources, N8, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Rear Admiral Gaouette is a graduate of the Air War College, where he earned a concurrent Master’s degree in Public Administration from Auburn University. In 2003, according to the Navy website, he was awarded the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership in recognition of the hard work by the crew of USS Oldendorf. He has been awarded the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Joint Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various unit awards.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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