Navy to get new top information warfare officer

Vice Adm. Karl Thomas has been nominated to be the next deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, N2/N6.
Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, addresses the crew of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during a visit, August 31, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Haydn N. Smith)

President Biden has tapped Vice Adm. Karl Thomas to be the next deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, N2/N6 and director of naval intelligence, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

If his nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Thomas would become the service’s top information warfare official, taking over for Vice Adm. Jeffrey Trussler who has held the role since 2020. Trussler will be retiring, a Navy spokesperson told DefenseScoop.

Thomas is currently the commander of 7th Fleet in Japan. The Pacific is a key region for the Pentagon, as the National Defense Strategy released late last year names China as the U.S. military’s “pacing challenge.”

The Navy has also created Fleet Information Warfare Command Pacific to more closely integrate information warfare capabilities into the fleet and joint force in the region.  


Thomas is a career aviator and has held a number of positions in the fleet including in the airborne early warning and command-and-control community. He also served ashore coordinating the Pentagon’s Unmanned Air Systems Task Force, among other positions, according to his Navy bio.

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