Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command 

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command 

Charles Bradford “Brad” Cooper II was born in 1967 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He earned an undergraduate degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree from the National Intelligence University. He has also availed himself of many other education opportunities afforded him through the military.  

He has served in the Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan. His commands include the USS Russell, the USS Gettysburg, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, Expeditionary Strike Group 7, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic, and presently the command of the United States Fifth Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command since April 2023. 

Cooper is married to Susan and they have two children. 

In the News…

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said last week that Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen are now using one-way, unmanned drone boats to attack shipping and other vessels in the Red Sea. He reported that the Yemen drones are often packed with explosives, and they represent a “concern” for the Fifth Fleet.  

Vice Admiral Cooper said, “There are no signs their irresponsible behavior is abating. Since November 18, there have now been 25 attacks against merchant vessels transiting the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.” 

Last month, the Defense Department began Operation Prosperity Guardian, a pact to safeguard commercial shipping by increasing patrols to defend the area. So far, about two dozen countries have joined the multinational operation. 

“Fifty-five nations have direct connections to the ships that have been attacked,” the vice admiral said. “The impacts of these attacks stretch across the globe. As we have said, this is an international problem that requires an international solution.” 


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