Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, Commander, Naval Forces Central Command

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper

Commander, Naval Forces Central Command

Charles Bradford “Brad” Cooper II was born in 1967  in Northern Virginia. He earned an undergraduate degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, a master’s degree from the National Intelligence University, and has received additional education through the U.S. military. 

He has served as commander of Naval Forces Korea and he served in leadership roles aboard the USS Gettysburg and SS Russell. He commanded the expeditionary strike group 7, the Naval Surface Forces Atlantic, and the United States Fifth Fleet.  He served at the Pentagon as Chief of Legislative Affairs of the Navy. He is currently commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. 

Cooper is married to Susan and they have two children. 

In the News…

The U.S. Navy said it is beginning a new task force with allied countries to patrol the Red Sea after a series of attacks, attributed to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, occurred in the waterway that is essential to global trade. 

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, who oversees the Navy’s Mideast-based Fifth Fleet, declined to directly name the Iran-backed Houthis in his remarks when he announced the task force. However, the Houthis have launched explosive-laden drone boats and mines into the waters of the Red Sea, which runs from Egypt’s Suez Canal in the north down through the narrow Bab-el-Mandeb Strait in the south that separates Africa from the Arabian Peninsula 

“In a macro sense, this region literally and figuratively fuels the world,” Vice Admiral Cooper said. “The area is so vast that we just can’t do it alone so we’re going to be at our best when we partner.” 

The Red Sea is a vital shipping lane for both cargo and the global energy supplies, making any mining of the area a danger not only to Saudi Arabia but to the rest of the world. Mines can enter the water and then be carried away by the currents, which change by the season in the Red Sea. 


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