Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander, U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas

Commander, U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet

Karl Owen Thomas was born in 1953 in Fairfax, Virginia. He earned an undergraduate degree in management systems from the Rochester Polytechnic Institute and earned a Master of Science in information technology from the Naval Postgraduate School.

He was a carrier aviator in the E-2C Hawkeye serving with a Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron.

He has held commands of the USS Mount Whitney, the USS Abraham Lincoln, the USS Carl Vinson,  and Carrier Strike Group 5.

In April 2021, he was nominated to be vice admiral and assigned to the command of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet.

In the News…

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas said China’s navy is capable of blocking Taiwan. Pointing to the size of the Chinese navy growing rapidly in the world, he has given this warning. Commander of the US Seventh Fleet, Vice Admiral Thomas said, “They have  a huge navy and they can do a lot if they want to harass ships near Taiwan.” He added, “If they want to bully and put ships around Taiwan, they very much can do that.”

China showed an aggressive stance after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last month. China had conducted military exercises close to Taiwan. Military analysts believe that China can bring Taiwan to its knees only by encircling it with six zones. For decades, America has hidden its strategy regarding Taiwan. But in an interview broadcast on Sunday, President Joe Biden said that if China attacks Taiwan, the U.S. military will protect it.

Vice Admiral Thomas said he didn’t know if China would carry out an invasion or a blockade, but it was his job to be ready for whatever they do. He said he hoped China would resolve differences over the island peacefully. If China were to mount a blockade, Admiral Thomas said the international community could step in.

“Clearly if they do something that’s non-kinetic, which, you know, a blockade is less kinetic,” he said, meaning it isn’t an all-out attack involving lethal force, “then that allows the international community to weigh in and to work together on how we’re going to solve that challenge.”


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