Vice Admiral Scott Stearney was found dead in his Bahrain home on Saturday
The admiral who oversees US Navy forces in the Middle East has been found dead at his home in Bahrain of a ‘suspected suicide’.
Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, who took over command of the 5th Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command in May, was found dead on Saturday. He was 58.
Officials say no foul play is suspected and defense officials told CBS News they are calling it an ‘apparent suicide’.
‘This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at Fifth Fleet and for the entire Navy,’ Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said in a video statement.
‘Scott Stearney was a decorated Naval warrior. He was a devoted husband and father, and he was a good friend to all,’ the statement said.
‘The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Ministry of the Interior are cooperating on the investigation, but at this time no foul play is suspected,’ said Richardson.
U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Scott A. Stearney is seen speaking in May after taking command of the 5th Fleet. He was found dead in his home in Bahrain on Saturday
The Fifth Fleet’s deputy commander, Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, assumed command in the wake of Stearney’s death.
Stearney was a native of Chicago who entered the Navy in 1982, after graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in economics, according to his official biography.
He later obtained a master’s degree from the National Defense University.
In the Navy, he served in several strike fighter squadrons flying the FA-18 Hornet.
His fleet assignments include the Golden Warriors of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-87, the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-136 and strike warfare officer for commander, Carrier Group 4.
Vice Admiral Scott Stearney speaks on the 1MC shipboard intercom to welcome the crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) to Manama, Bahrain in October
Stearney commanded the Wildcats of VFA-131 and Carrier Air Wing Seven embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In his career, he accumulated more than 4,500 mishap free flight hours and over 1,000 carrier-arrested landings.
He served in Kabul, Afghanistan, as chief of staff of Joint Task Force 435 and later Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435.
Stearney was decorated with the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, as well as other commendations and awards.