PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Adm. Cecil D. Haney, former deputy of the U.S. Strategic Command will become commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in a change-of-command ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20.

Haney will succeed Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, who will be retiring after 34 years in the Navy.

Walsh, who has guided the U.S. Navy in the Pacific for more than two years, led all U.S. military relief efforts following the March 11 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan.

The change of command ceremony is a formal transfer of responsibility from one senior naval leader to another. The Jan. 20 event will be a traditional one conducted in a unique military location with the USS Arizona and USS Missouri memorials as a backdrop.

Haney will become the 33rd Navy officer to command the Pacific Fleet since it was established in February 1941 with headquarters at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Past commanders of the Pacific Fleet include such naval giants as Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz and Adm. Raymond Spruance.

U.S. Pacific Fleet protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the United States and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. In support of U.S. Pacific Command and with allies and partners, U.S. Pacific Fleet enhances stability, promotes maritime security and freedom of the seas, deters aggression and when necessary, fights to win.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 100 million square miles, more than half the Earth's surface, from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. The Pacific Fleet consists of approximately 180 ships, nearly 2,000 aircraft and 125,000 Sailors, Marines and Civilians.