United States Navy History, focusing on the U. S. Navy 7th Fleet
A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983) Operation Evening Light and Eagle Claw - 24 April 1980
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Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to 1980)
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United States Navy History, focusing on the U. S. Navy 7th Fleet
U.S. 7th Fleet
“The Seventh Fleet is the United States Navy's permanent forward projection force operating forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan, with units positioned near Japan and South Korea. It is a component force of the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 50 to 60 ships, 350 aircraft and 60,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. With the support of its Task Force Commanders, it has three major assignments:
· Joint Task Force command in a natural disaster or joint military operation,
· Operational command of all naval forces in the region, and
Defense of the Korean Peninsula. In 1994, 7th Fleet was assigned the additional responsibility as Commander, Combined Naval Component Command for the defense of South Korea.
U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan - Ref. 313F
Main article: U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo
Apra Harbor, Guam - Ref. 313F
Main article: Naval Base Guam
The 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 50-60 ships, 350 aircraft and 60,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel, typically assigned to Seventh Fleet, while 18 operate from U.S. facilities in Japan and Guam. These forward-deployed units represent the heart of Seventh Fleet, and the centerpieces of American forward presence in Asia.
The Seventh Fleet Command Ship is the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. They are 17 steaming days closer to locations in Asia than their counterparts based in the continental United States. It would take three to five times the number of rotationally based ships in the United States to equal the same presence and crisis response capability as these 18 forward deployed ships. On any given day, about 50 percent of Seventh Fleet forces are deployed at sea throughout the area of responsibility” (Ref. 313F; 313F1 & 313F3).
“Today it is the largest forward-deployed U.S. fleet and its area of responsibility includes the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans” (Ref. 313F1).
7th Fleet History
“The Seventh Fleet was formed on 15 March 1943 in Brisbane, Australia, during World War II, under the command of Admiral Arthur S. "Chips" Carpender, when the Southwest Pacific Force was renamed. It served in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) under General Douglas MacArthur, and the Seventh Fleet commander also served as commander of Allied naval forces in the SWPA.
Most of the ships of the Royal Australian Navy were also part of the fleet from 1943 to 1945 as part of Task Force 74 (formerly the Anzac Squadron). The Seventh Fleet—under Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid—formed a large part of the Allied forces at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history. After the end of the war, the 7th Fleet moved its headquarters to Qingdao, China” (Ref. 313F).
“Commander U.S. 7th Fleet participated in several Pacific campaigns, including the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines during World War II as the naval component commander under Supreme Commander Southwest Pacific Area, General Douglas MacArthur. The Fleet’s name was changed to Naval Forces Western Pacific Jan. 1, 1947” (Ref. 313F1).
“After the war, on 1 January 1947, the Fleet's name was changed to Naval Forces Western Pacific. On 19 August 1949, just prior to the outbreak of the Korean War, the force was designated as United States Seventh Task Fleet. On 11 February 1950, the force assumed the name United States Seventh Fleet, which it holds today” (Ref. 313F & 313F2)
“In late 1948, the 7th Fleet moved its principal base of operations to the Philippines, where the Navy, following the war, had developed new facilities at Subic Bay and an airfield at Sangley Point. Peacetime operations of the Seventh Fleet were under the control of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Admiral Arthur E. Radford, but standing orders provided that, when operating in Japanese waters or in the event of an emergency, control would pass to Commander Naval Forces Far East, a component of General Douglas MacArthur's occupation force” (Ref. 313F).
“Just prior to the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the force was designated as U.S. 7th Task Fleet. Feb. 11, 1950, the force assumed the name that it holds today -- United States 7th Fleet” (Ref. 313F1).
“Seventh Fleet units participated in all major operation of the Korean War and Vietnam war. The first Navy jet aircraft used in combat was launched from a Task Force 77 (TF 77) aircraft carrier on 3 July 1950. The landings at Inchon, Korea were conducted by Seventh Fleet amphibious ships. The battleships Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri and Wisconsin all served as flagships for Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet during the Korean War” (Ref. 313F & 313F1).
“During the Korean War, the Seventh Fleet consisted of Task Force 70, a maritime patrol force provided by Fleet Air Wing One and Fleet Air Wing Six, Task Force 72, the Formosa Patrol, Task Force 77, and Task Force 79, a service support squadron” (Ref. 313F & 313F1).
From left, Rear Adm. Edward C. Ewen, Commander Carrier Division 1; Vice Adm. Arthur D. Struble, Commander, 7th Fleet; and Rear Adm. John M. Hoskins, Commander, Carrier Division 3 pose with a World globe, while conferring aboard a 7th Fleet ship, circa August-December 1950.
Cold War (1948 to 1980’s)
“Over the next decade the Seventh Fleet responded to numerous crisis situations including contingency operations conducted in Laos in 1959 and Thailand in 1962. During September 1959, in the autumn of 1960, and again in January 1961, the Seventh Fleet deployed multiship carrier task forces into the South China Sea” (Ref. 313F & 313F4).
“Although the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese supporting forces withdrew in each crisis, in the spring of 1961 their offensive appeared on the verge of overwhelming the pro-American Royal Laotian Army. Once again the fleet sortied into Southeast Asian waters. By the end of April most of the Seventh fleet was deployed off the Indochinese Peninsula preparing to initiate operations into Laos” (Ref. 313F1).
“The force consisted of the Coral Sea and Midway carrier battle groups, antisubmarine support carrier Kearsarge, one helicopter carrier, three groups of amphibious ships, two submarines, and three Marine battalion landing teams. At the same time, shorebased air patrol squadrons and another three Marine battalion landing teams stood ready in Okinawa and the Philippines to support the afloat force. Although the administration of President John F. Kennedy already had decided against American intervention to rescue the Laotian government, Communist forces halted their advance and agreed to negotiations. The contending Laotian factions concluded a cease-fire on 8 May 1961, but it lasted only a year” (Ref. 313F).
Harbor tugs move USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) alongside USS Providence (CLG-6) for change of 7th Fleet flagship July 7, 1964, at Yokosuka Naval Station, Japan. Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Roy L. Johnson, transferred his flag and staff from Providence to Oklahoma City at the conclusion of the former's first tour as Fleet flagship. Note LCU-637 and several harbor tugs on the wharf, at left; large dockyard cranes; tunnels in the cliff in the background; and the large number of automobiles on board Oklahoma City. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.)
U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) arrives at Saigon, Republic of Vietnam, July 21, 1964, for a three-day goodwill tour, with fleet commander Vice Adm. Roy L. Johnson, aboard. Vietnamese Navy personnel are waiting to help berth the ship.
Military humor: Unofficial insignia of the "Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club" - aka U.S. 7th Fleet.
“During the Vietnam War, Seventh Fleet engaged in combat operations against enemy forces through attack carrier air strikes, naval gunfire support, amphibious operations, patrol and reconnaissance operations and mine warfare. After the 1973 cease-fire, the Fleet conducted mine countermeasure operations in the coastal waterways of North Vietnam. Two years later, ships and aircraft of the Fleet evacuated thousands of U.S. citizens and refugees from South Vietnam and Cambodia as those countries fell to opposing forces. Between 1950 and 1970, the U.S. Seventh Fleet was also known by the tongue-in-cheek nickname "Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club". Most of the fleet's operations were conducted from the Tonkin Gulf at the time. The badge was unofficial but it quickly became very popular” (Ref. 313F; 313F6 & 313F21).
“TF 74 comprised the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise; the amphibious assault carrier Tripoli; the destroyers Decatur, McKean, and Orleck; the guided-missile escorts Waddell, King, and Parsons; the nuclear-powered attack submarine Gurnard; and supply ship Wichita. On 15 December, a day before the surrender of Pakistan, the task force entered the Bay of Bengal, at a distance of some 1,760 km (950 nmi; 1,090 mi) from Dhaka” (Ref. 313F).
“During the Vietnam War, 7th Fleet engaged in combat operations against enemy forces through attack carrier air strikes, naval gunfire support, amphibious operations, patrol and reconnaissance operations and mine warfare. After the 1973 cease-fire, the Fleet conducted mine countermeasures operations in the coastal waterways of North Vietnam” (Ref. & 313F1).
Seated in the front row at center, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. George P. Steele poses with his staff aboard the fleet flagship, USS Oklahoma City, at Yokosuka, Japan, Feb. 20, 1975. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.)
“The 7th Fleet participated in the Vietnam Conflict (Vietnam Wars), conducted operations near North Vietnam, participated in the Korean Conflict/War and in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, fighting in the Battle of Leyte Gulf” (Ref. 313F).
“Following the end of the Cold War, the two major military scenarios in which the Seventh Fleet would be used would be in case of conflict in Korea or a conflict between People's Republic of China and Taiwan (Republic of China) in the Taiwan Strait.
After operations near North Vietnam, and participation in the Vietnam Conflict (Vietnam Wars), the United States 7th Fleet participated in no major combat action until the Persian Gulf War, wherein it was placed under the command of NAVCENT (Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command)” (Ref. 313F).
Gulf War and 1990s
“In response to the 2 August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, President George H. W. Bush ordered Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet to assume additional responsibilities as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command” (Ref. & 313F1).
“The Fleet Commander departed Yokosuka, Japan immediately, heading for the Persian Gulf, and joined the remainder of his staff aboard the flagship Blue Ridge on 1 September 1990. During Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, Naval Forces Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT) exercised command and control of the largest U.S. Navy armada since the Second World War. At the peak of combat operations, over 130 U.S. ships joined more than 50 allied ships to conduct maritime intercept operations, minesweeping and combat strike operations against enemy forces in Iraq and Kuwait.
Naval Forces Central Command included six aircraft carrier battle groups, two battleships (Missouri and Wisconsin), two hospital ships, 31 amphibious assault ships, four minesweeping vessels and numerous combatants in support of allied air and ground forces. After a decisive allied victory in the Gulf War, Commander U.S. Seventh Fleet relinquished control of Naval Forces Central Command to Commander, Middle East Force on 24 April 1991 and returned to Yokosuka, Japan and continued duties as Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet” (Ref. 313F & 313F1).
“In late 1992, North Korea unilaterally withdrew from the South-North High-Level Talks on the pretext of the 1993 Team Spirit exercise.
Since Vietnam, the Seventh Fleet has participated in a joint/combined exercise called Team Spirit, a joint military training exercise of United States Forces Korea and the Military of South Korea held between 1976 and 1993” (Ref. 313F22).
“Team Spirit was scheduled from 1994 to 1996 but cancelled in each year as part of diplomacy to encourage the Government of North Korea to disable the North Korean nuclear weapons program” (Ref. 313F; 313F2 & 313F22).
Combined Naval Component Command
“In 1994, Seventh Fleet was assigned the additional responsibility as Commander, Combined Naval Component Command for the defense of South Korea. Subsequently, Commander, Seventh Fleet was named one of three primary Joint Task Force Commanders responsible to Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command.
The commander of the Combined Naval Component Command (NCC) of CFC is Korean vice admiral (three-star officer). He commands the three fleets consist of Republic of Korea Navy and two divisions and a brigade of the Republic of Korea Marine Corp. NCC is the only branch of the CFC that are solely under Korean command.
In organizing the defense of the ROK against North Korean aggression the CFC designated the Commander 7th Fleet (C7F): Commander, NCC and made him the supported commander for maritime interdiction operations. While NCC surface combatants are well organized to defend the blue-water areas surrounding the ROK, the littoral areas pose a different challenge. The littoral area, generally within 12 miles of the ROK shore, restricts ship movement. Also, ships that do move in the littoral area are more vulnerable to enemy land based weapon systems. It is in this littoral area that the North intends to move its tremendous numbers of maritime SOF forces to land on ROK soil.
The Navy command and control ship has control over all maritime activity in the naval operational area. The command and control ship exercises both functional and geographic control. The NCC establishes a functional Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) command for each coast. Each ASUW Commander (AUSWC), located aboard a cruiser or destroyer, is responsible for functional control of surface warfare within his assigned geographic area.
The NCC Waterspace Management Scheme allocates each Naval surface and subsurface combatant decentralized responsibility for portions of the NCC's area. The NCC also establishes a separate Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) command, generally located aboard an AEGIS equipped cruiser or destroyer. The AAW Commander (AAWC) is functionally responsible for anti-air warfare in his area of operations. The AAWC coordinates engagement of hostile aircraft and protection of friendly aircraft within his respective area, similar to the ASUW function.
CFC naval forces intend to detect North Korean movement in the littoral area with their own helicopters, airplanes, shore based radars and patrol craft. However, the NCC's helicopters and airplanes are mainly for target detection and not interdiction. That role is assigned to the NCC's fighter aircraft, surface combatant ships, and submarines. The NCC simply doesn't have enough resources to detect, track and destroy every enemy surface vessel, submarine, and aircraft in both the "blue water" and the littoral. Yet, the NCC's ability to detect, track, and destroy all enemy vessels operating anywhere along the ROK coast and along sea lines of communication is critical to CFC's campaign during the early stages of hostilities.
The CFC now cross attaches Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, from its Ground Component Command (GCC), to its Naval Component Command (NCC) on a temporary basis, depending on the situation, to attack enemy maritime-SOF assets before they reach ROK shores. CFC initially experimented with the concept in October 1996 during its annual, theater wide, Combined Field Training Exercise: FOAL EAGLE. FOAL EAGLE is an ideal setting for practicing the anti-maritime SOF concept since the focus of the exercise is on rear area operations, and security and protection from enemy SOF. Following initial success on a small scale, CFC moved to expand the concept in time for ULCHI FOCUS LENS (UFL) 97. UFL is the CFC's theater wide, simulation driven, Combined Command Post Exercise designed to practice execution of various parts of the theater campaign plan. UFL 97 provided an opportunity to practice the anti-maritime SOF concept on a grand scale without being cost prohibitive” (Ref. 313F3).
“In 1996, Commander, 7th Fleet planned and organized a deployment of forces in response to tensions in the Taiwan Straits, including two aircraft carrier battle groups under Seventh Fleet control to demonstrate U.S. support for Taiwan during the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis. The Nimitz battle group (CCDG 5) made a high speed transit from the Persian Gulf, while Carrier Group Five, led by Independence, sortied from its Japanese homeports” (Ref. 313F & 313F1).
“In 1998, 7th Fleet staff deployed on short notice to plan and prepare for the evacuation of American citizens from Indonesia.
Since 2001, 7th Fleet has taken an active role in the Global War on Terrorism by providing guidance, support and security to countries throughout the Asia Pacific region.
After the devastating earthquake off Sumatra, Indonesia -- and the resulting tsunamis -- ravaged much of Southeast Asia in December 2004, 7th Fleet units began providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to many countries during Operation Unified Assistance. That assistance included aid from the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19)” (Ref. 313F1).
“USNS Mercy returned to the region in 2006 and 2008, delivering care to almost 300,000 people in coordination with the militaries, governments and non-governmental organizations of host nations” (Ref. 313F1).
“Until 2007 the exercise had been called "Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration of Forces" (RSOI). As of March 2008, it is called Key Resolve. North Korea has denounced the joint military exercise as a "war game aimed at a northward invasion"” (Ref. 313F; 313F5 & 313F22).
“On March 11, 2011 within hours after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan. U.S. 7th Fleet mobilized 22 ships, 132 aircraft and more than 15,000 personnel to support the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) in the largest recovery effort in their history. The relief operation that followed was named Operation Tomodachi, after the Japanese word for “friend.”
In the days and weeks that followed, 7th Fleet forces delivered more than 260 tons of relief supplies to groups of isolated people ashore. They systematically mapped and aided in the clearance of three ports at Hachinohe, Miyako and Oshima/Kesennuma. They provided fuel and supplies to Japanese ships and aircraft. They carefully searched more than 2,000 square miles of ocean in a concerted effort to find the remains of victims. They ferried electrical utility crews and fuel to the isolated island of Oshima. They conducted more than 160 aerial reconnaissance flights, reviewing thousands of overhead images to search for survivors and help inform Japanese relief and recovery efforts. And they did all of this while contending with the challenges of radiological contamination from the Fukushima nuclear plant, and with the angst for their loved ones back in Yokosuka and Atsugi.
ONAGAWA, Japan (March 23, 2011) - An SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter attached to the Battle Cats of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 43, Det. 3, embarked aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88), flies pass a message saying “Thank You USA,” while en route to deliver humanitarian aid supplies. Preble is currently conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Naval Air Crewman 3rd Class Kevin MacDonald)
“On 2 June 2012 the U.S. and Singaporean Defense Ministers announced that Singapore has agreed 'in principle' to the US request 'to forward deploy up to four littoral combat ships to Singapore on a rotational basis” (Ref. 313F & 313F9).
“Officials stressed however that vessels will not be permanently based there and their crews will live aboard during ship visit” (Ref. 313F).
“Commander Seventh Fleet (C7F) performs three jobs. First, C7F can be assigned as a Joint Task Force commander in the event of natural disaster or joint military operation. Second, C7F is the operational commander for all naval forces in the region; this is the job we do every day. Finally, C7F is designated as the Combined Naval Component Commander for the defense of the Korean peninsula; in the event of hostilities, all friendly naval forces in the theater would fall under C7F control” (Ref. 313F).
“Operating in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf -- up to 11,000 miles from the west coast of the United States, Seventh Fleet, with the support of its Task Force Commanders, performs three major assignments:
C7F can be assigned as a Joint Task Force commander in the event of natural disaster or joint military operation.
C7F is the operational commander for all naval forces in the region.
C7F is designated as the Combined Naval Component Commander for the defense of the Korean peninsula; in the event of hostilities, all friendly naval forces in the theater would fall under C7F control” (Ref. 313F).
“Task Force 70 — TF 70 the Battle Force of 7th Fleet and is actually made up of two distinct components: Surface Combatant Force 7th Fleet, composed of cruisers and destroyers, and Carrier Strike Force 7th Fleet, made up of at least one aircraft carrier and its embarked air wing. The Battle Force is currently centered around Carrier Strike Group Five, the carrier USS George Washington and Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5).
Task Force 71 — TF 71 includes all Naval Special Warfare (NSW) units and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Units (EODMU) assigned to 7th Fleet. It is based in Guam. Task Force 71 was based in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1941-42, operating submarines under Rear Admiral Charles A. Lockwood. He was relieved by Rear Admiral Ralph W. Christie on 7 March 1943 (313F10). During the first half of 1965, the Seventh Fleet operationally controlled the Vietnam Patrol Force (Task Force 71), the American component of the Operation Market Time effort (313F11). The Naval Advisory Group, headquartered in Saigon, served as the liaison between the fleet, COMUSMACV, and the South Vietnamese Navy. On 31 July 1965, formal control of the U.S. Operation Market Time force passed from the Seventh Fleet to the Naval Advisory Group, which in turn activated the Coastal Surveillance Force (Task Force 115). The fleet continued to provide logistic and administrative support. The command function was further refined on 1 April 1966 when Naval Forces, Vietnam, was established, relieving the Naval Advisory Group of responsibility for Market Time operations” (Ref. 313F; 313F10 & 313F11).
“On the day of the shootdown, Rear Admiral William A. Cockell, Commander, Task Force 71, and a skeleton staff, taken by helicopter from Japan, embarked in USS Badger (stationed off Vladivostock at time of the flight) (313F12) on 9 September for further transfer to the destroyer Elliot to assume duties as Officer in Tactical Command (OTC) of the Search and Rescue (SAR) effort. Surface search began immediately and on into the 13 day of September. U.S. underwater operations began on September 14. No longer any hope of finding survivors, on September 10, 1983, Task Force 71 mission had been reclassified "Search and Salvage" operation from a "Search and Rescue". On October 17, 1983, Rear Admiral William Cockell was relieved of command of the Task Force and its Search and Salvage mission, and Rear Admiral Walter T. Piotti, Jr., was placed in command” (Ref. 313F & 313F12).
“There were three U.S. search and salvage ships involved—the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Munro, the rescue salvage ship USS Conserver, and the Fleet Tug USNS Narragansett. There were also three Japanese tugs chartered through the U.S. Navy’s Far East Salvage Contractor (Selco), these were the Ocean Bull, the Kaiko-Maru 7, and the Kaiko-Maru 3” (Ref. 313F & 313F13).
“Aside from these vessels, there were the U.S. naval combatants and logistical support ships. These were the USS Elliot, USS Badger, USS Sterett, USNS Hassayampa, USS Callaghan, USS Brooke, USS Meyerkord, USS Towers, USS Stark and the USS Wichita. In addition to the above ships, there were numerous Japanese Maritime Safety Agency patrol boats and South Korean vessels involved” (Ref. 313F).
“The Seventh Fleet Command Ship is the USS Blue Ridge, based at U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Yokosuka, Japan. In 2004, Blue Ridge entered dry dock and the responsibility was transferred temporarily to USS Coronado. Blue Ridge returned to duty 27 September 2004” (Ref. 313F).
“Task Force 72 — TF 72 is the Patrol-Reconnaissance Force of the Seventh Fleet. It may be located at Naval Support Facility Kamiseya, Japan. It is mainly composed of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft and maritime airborne surveillance platforms such as P-3 Orion and EP-3 reconnaissance planes operating on land bases. Toward the end of the Korean War, Commander Task Force 72 transferred his flag to USS Pine Island on 7 March and detachments of VP-42 also left USS Salisbury Sound for that seaplane tender. That same day Task Force Seventy-Two was established as the Formosa Patrol Force under Rear Admiral Williamson in Pine Island” (Ref. 313F & 313F15).
“Task Force 73/Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific — 7th Fleet's Logistics Force composed of supply ships and other fleet support vessels. Headquartered in Singapore.
Task Force 74 — TF 74 was the designation used for the Enterprise battle group in 1971. Today, it is the Fleet Submarine Force responsible for planning and coordinating submarine operations within 7th Fleet's area of operations” (Ref. 313F).
“Task Force 75 — Designation of the Surface Combatant Force assigned to Seventh Fleet responsible for the cruisers and destroyers that are not assigned as escorts to aircraft carriers. Rear Admiral Rembrandt C. Robinson, U.S. Navy, at age 47, was Commander Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla Eleven and Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group Vietnam, Seventh Fleet (CTF 75). Admiral Robinson was killed in a helicopter crash in the Gulf of Tonkin on May 8, 1972, during a late night landing approach to his flagship, the guided missile light cruiser USS Providence (CLG-6). The Seventh Fleet's flagship used to be frequently a cruiser. This cruiser, for example USS Oklahoma City (CG-5), would be assigned the designation of Task Group 70.1 when acting as fleet flagship and also act as part of Task Force 75 when carrying out Naval gunfire support” (Ref. 313F & 313F16).
“Task Force 76 — Amphibious Assault task force mainly responsible for supporting Marine landing operations. It is composed of units capable of delivering ship-to-shore assault troops, such as Tarawa-class and Wasp-class amphibious assault ships, and landing craft. Rear Admiral Richard Landolt currently commands TF 76” (Ref. 313F & 313F17).
“Task Force 77 — 7th Fleet Mine Warfare Force composed of mine countermeasure, mine hunter, and mine control ships as well as mine countermeasure helicopters (MH-53). This task force is only activated during specific combat operations and was filled by the Commander of Mine Warfare Command. Mine Warfare Command has now been disestablished and replaced by Navy Mine and Antisubmarine Warfare Command, Naval Base Point Loma, Calif.” (Ref. 313F).
“Task Force 78 — In 1973, Task Force 78 served as the mine clearance force that cleared Haiphong Harbour in Operation End Sweep. Major elements of the U.S. Navy mine warfare force, including Mobile Mine Command (MOMCOM), Mine Warfare Support Group (MWFSG), and HM-12 were airlifted by C-5A to NAS Cubi Point in the Philippines. These specialists formed the nucleus of Task Force 78, under the command of Rear Admiral Brian McCauley, for Operation End Sweep” (Ref. 313F).
“Commander, Mine Force, Atlantic Fleet had reported to Vice Admiral James L. Holloway III, Commander, Seventh Fleet, in September 1972 as Commander Task Force 78. TF 78 was officially activated in November 1972” (Ref. 313F & 313F18).
“However, it became clear more helicopters were needed. Responding to a Navy request for assistance, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Pacific (CG FMFPAC) directed that HMH-463 deploy from MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, to NAS Cubi Point, to join Task Force 78” (Ref. 313F & 313F20).
“On 27 November 1972, with the efficient support of Col Bill Crocker's MAG-24, HM-463 embarked at Pearl Harbor aboard USS Inchon (LPH-12), which was en route from Norfolk to augment Seventh Fleet Amphibious Forces and to participate in End Sweep” (Ref. 313F).
“The ceasefire was signed on 23 January 1973, and the day afterwards, major components of TF 78 deployed from Subic Bay to Haiphong. These included four ocean minesweepers (MSO), USS Inchon, and four amphibious ships, 'including two with docking capabilities to handle the minesweeping sleds towed by the CH-53Ms. During the the six months of Operation End Sweep, ten ocean minesweepers, nine amphibious ships, six fleet tugs, three salvage ships, and nineteen destroyers operated in Task Force 78 in the vicinity of Haiphong'” (Ref. 313F & 313F19).
“As of 2010, Commander Naval Forces Korea, an administrative liaison unit between USFK, the ROK Navy, and Seventh Fleet, has been assigned the TF 78 designation. Naval Forces Korea is headquartered at Yongsan and has a base at Chinhae, Commander Fleet Activities Chinhae.
Task Force 79 — The Marine expeditionary unit or Landing Force assigned to the fleet, consisting of at least a reinforced Marine battalion and its equipment. This unit is separate from the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) normally embarked in USS Essex Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG). Marine units serving in 7th Fleet are normally drawn from III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa, Japan” (Ref. 313F).
U.S. 7th Fleet Commanders
The Commander of the 7th Fleet is known as COMSEVENTHFLT.
Ref. 35 - www.c7f.navy.mil. Archived from the original on 29 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
Ref. 36 - Lubold, Gordon (22 August 2017). "U.S. Navy Relieves Admiral of Command After Collisions". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
Ref. 37 - "Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. William R. Merz". US Navy. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
Pacific Fleet Exercises – Ref. 313W
“The Navy conducts more than 100 exercises per year with nations throughout Asia. These exercises are an essential part of our overall engagement program, and are imperative to building friendships and maintaining interoperability. The objectives of joint exercises have been to increase the ability of U.S. and other forces to operate together and to increase both sides' capabilities and training.
The 7th Fleet's area of responsibility includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian Oceans -- stretching from International Date Line to the east coast of Africa, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south. As this graphic shows, the region is more than 14 times the size of the entire continental United States. Distances are great in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. For example, it is more than 10,400 nautical miles from San Diego, California to mid-Indian Ocean -- a 21-day transit for a ship steaming 20 knots. By comparison, it is 4,343 nautical miles from Norfolk, Virginia to Naples, Italy. The United States has longstanding security treaties with six nations in the area, and military-to-military contacts with more than two dozen others.
Forward deployed forces routinely participate in bilateral and multilateral exercises to act as a facilitator for confidence building measures among our friends and allies. The Commander, Seventh Fleet consistently and constantly reassures our friends and allies within the theater that our maritime forces are trained, able and ready to respond to any security scenario. Thus, such engagement efforts ensure an opportunity to maintain and achieve peace within the region, and build upon the concepts of collective security.
Illustrating the depth and scope of Pacific Fleet naval presence in the region are the myriad activities and number of countries engaged on a routine basis. There are over 125 joint and combined exercises conducted with friends and allies each year. These exercises are an essential part of the overall engagement program, and are imperative to building friendships and maintaining interoperability. The 7th Fleet exercises include Tandem Thrust, Valiant Blitz, Keen Edge and RIMPAC being some of the larger ones. There are smaller exercises, too, where fewer assets are used, and their names may be just as unique as their goals: Sea Bat, Tricrab, Dieselex, Shin Kame, Lungfish. The Pacific Fleet's ships conduct more than 700 port visits throughout the region for crew liberty, periodic maintenance, and theater engagement purposes.
One of the cornerstones of maintaining a ready, combat force and capability is the Pacific Fleet's robust exercise program. There are three objectives to be attained in this arena: the training of US naval forces in maritime and joint environments, field testing innovative concepts and tactics through fleet battle lab experiments pursuing commonality through combined exercises, and establishing interoperability between the U. S. and regional countries in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search and rescue. Such an ambitious effort allows a stair-step approach in building forces that are trained and ready to respond. This training effort permits US forces to progress through basic, intermediate, and advanced tactical scenarios of greater complexity that reflects a force that is confident, capable and prepared. This process is a "crawl, walk, run evolution." This training effort permits our forces to be actively engaged in a robust training environment that is composed of various building blocks of operational difficulty and complexity.
A passing exercise can involve rather limited interaction with local military forces, such as U.S. notification of neighboring countries as ships pass through nearby waters. Passing exercises can also involve more extensive joint exercises with local forces. Naval passing exercises are conducted with each country in the region, although their scale varies significantly. Larger passing exercises can involve a U.S. carrier group. In these cases, U.S. and local forces may conduct joint naval and air exercises. Smaller passing exercises might involve the passage of a single U.S. destroyer, with interaction possibly limited to communications. These small-scale exercises are thought to be important in laying the groundwork for future military-to-military relationships. The contribution of the local country to passing exercises is typically smaller than the U.S. force” (Ref. 313W).
· ANNUALEX Bilateral USN/JMSDF Maritime Exercise
· CARAT Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training:
· Bilateral SEA readiness and training exercise with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia
· COBRA GOLD Joint air/land/sea/SOF exercise with Thailand
· COOP from the Sea Joint US/Russia amphib/humanitarian disaster relief exercise
· CROCODILE Joint/combined Fleet Training Exercise with maritime/land defense focus with Australia
· DUGONG Bilateral Very Shallow Water explosive ordinance disposal/Mine exercise with Australia
· FLASH IROQUIOIS Interoperability training between SOCPAC NSW and Indian SOF
· FOAL EAGLE Joint/combined training exercise in support of defense of Korea
· HONG KONG SAREX Improve multilateral coordination in Western Pacific
· INDUSA Bilateral naval training exercise series with Indonesia
· INDUSA RECONEX Bilateral reconnaissance exercise with Indonesia
· INDUSA SALVEX Bilateral USN/Indonesia salvage training
· JMSDF DIESELEX Anti-diesel submarine exercise with JMSDF
· JMSDF EODEX Bilateral JMSDF/USN explosive ordinance disposal exercise
· JMSDF MCMEX Bilateral JMSDF/USN mine countermeasure exercise
· JMSDF MINEX Bilateral JMSDF/USN Mining exercise
· JTFEX Joint Task Force Exercise for deploying carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups
· KEEN SWORD Joint/Bilateral exercise to increase readiness/interoperability for defense of Japan
· LUNGFISH Bilateral Australia/USN submarine Undersea Warfare exercise
· MALABAR Suface/Submarine/Air interoperability exercise with India
· Malay EODEX Bilateral Malaysia/USN explosive ordinance disposal exercise with Malaysia
· MALAY MINEX Bilateral Malaysia/USN mine exercise with Malaysia
· MERLION Bilateral exercise emphasizing interoperability with US carrier battle groups and Singapore
· MERLYNX Bilateral exercise for maritime special operations with Singapore
· RIMPAC Rim of the Pacific: Biennial large scale multi-national carrier battle group power projection and sea control exercise.
· ROKN ANTISOFEX Bilateral anti-special operations forces exercise with Republic of Korea
· ROKN DIESELEX Bilateral anti diesel submarine training exercise with Republic of Korea
· ROKN EODEX Bilateral USN/ROKN explosive ordinance disposal exercise with Republic of Korea
· ROKN MCMEX Bilateral USN/ROKN mine countermeasure exercise with Republic of Korea
· ROKN MINEX Bilateral USN/ROKN mine exercise with Republic of Korea
· ROKN SALVEX Bilateral USN/ROKN salvage exercise with Republic of Korea
· ROKN SEALEX Bilateral USN/ROKN SEAL exercise with Republic of Korea
· ROKN SUBEX Bilateral USN/ROKN submarine vs. submarine exercise with Republic of Korea
· SEABAT Bilateral maritime exercise with Bangladesh
· TANDEM THRUST Joint readiness exercise to improve interoperability and validate PACOM two-tiered command control concept.
· THAI MINEX Bilateral USN/THAI mine exercise
· THAI SALVEX Bilateral USN/THAI salvage exercise
· TRICRAB Multi-national explosive ordinance disposal exercise with Australia and Singapore
· ULCHI-FOCUS LENS Joint/combined exercise conducted in conjunction with Republic of Korea national mobilization exercise
· UNDERSEAL Bilateral special warfare training with Thai SEALS
· VALIANT MARK Small scale bilateral amphibious exercise with Singapore
· VALIANT USHER Joint/combined regimental size amphibious landing exercise
· BRIGHT STAR
· COBRA GOLD
· COOP FROM THE SEA
· EAGER ARCHER
· EAGER MACE
· EAGER SENTRY
· EASTERN CASTLE
· FLASH IROQUOIS
· HONG KONG SAREX
· INDUSA REONEX
· INDUSA SALVEX
· IRON MAGIC
· JMSDF ANNUALEX
· JMSDF DIESELEX
· JMSDF EODEX
· JMSDF MCMEX
· JMSDF MINEX
· JMSDF SALVEX
· MALAY EODEX
· MALAY MINEX
· NATURAL FIRE
· ROK ANTI SOFEX
· ROK DIESELEX
· ROK EODEX
· ROK MCMEX
· ROK MINEX
· ROK SALVEX
· ROK SEALEX
· SEA BAT
· TEAMWORK SOUTH
· THAI MINEX
· THAI SALVEX
· ULTIMATE RESOLVE
· VALIANT MARK
o RAAF EXTENDEX
o SEA EAGLE