William Gortney

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VADM William E. Gortney

William E. Gortney is a vice admiral in the United States Navy, who became director of the Joint Staff in July 2010. Previously, he commanded United States Fifth Fleet, the naval component of United States Central Command, as well as multinational Task Force 150, under which Task Force 151 conducts counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia.

Operations against Libya

Admiral Gortney was the Department of Defense spokesman for the initial Operation Odyssey Dawn operations against Libya, in March 2011.[1]


He is a Naval Aviator, who previously commanded Carrier Air Wing 7 during the no-fly operations over Iraq in 2002, and then Carrier Strike Group 10, operating in the Iraq War and maritime security in 2007-2008. Previously, he was a member of the national-level Joint Staff operations department for the Central Command area; then chief of Naval and Amphibious Liaison Element to the Combined Forces Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command, at the start of the war in 2003; followed as chief of staff for Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet from 2003-2004.

He entered the Navy after graduating from Elon College in North Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science in 1977 and received a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs from the Naval War College in 1996. VADM Gortney has made 1265 carrier landings, primarily in the A-7 Corsair II and F-18 Hornet.


  1. Jim Garamone (19 March 2011), Coalition Launches Operation Odyssey Dawn, American Forces Press Service