SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet and staff gathered to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fleet's founding during a ceremony at the 3rd Fleet headquarters building at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, March 15.
Third Fleet, established March 15, 1943 under the command of Fleet Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey Jr., provides maritime security across 50 million square miles of the Eastern and Northern Pacific Ocean and, through the "Third Fleet Forward" concept, as far as the Indo-Pacific region.
"Since World War II, U.S. 3rd Fleet Sailors, Marines, and civilians have dedicated 75 years to ensure stability, peace, and prosperity throughout the Pacific," said Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, 3rd Fleet. "Our team has demonstrated its versatility from operational control of forces during World War II, to resuming that control through the Third Fleet Forward concept these past two years. I could not be more proud of this command at this critical moment in naval history."
The anniversary celebration kicked off March 1 highlighting 3rd Fleet heritage through its people, partnerships, platforms, aircraft, ships, and amphibious forces, which have performed critical missions and support functions for the past 75 years.
Third Fleet continues to make history through the "Third Fleet Forward" concept, which allows Alexander to maintain tactical and operational control of 3rd Fleet assets operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, demonstrating the U.S. Navy's commitment to Pacific readiness.
Alexander said 3rd Fleet is reinforcing its historic role in protecting the collective maritime interests of the U.S., allies and partners in the Pacific and beyond, while also providing realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
"Third Fleet continues to work with our friends, partners, and allies," said Alexander. "Most recently the Carl Vinson Strike Group visited Vietnam, forging friendships and developing partnerships that will grow for the next 75 years and beyond."
In addition to maritime security, 3rd Fleet builds and sustains relationships with partner nations in the Pacific. Every two years, it hosts the world's largest naval exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. RIMPAC incorporates more than 25 nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, and more than 200 aircraft. Third Fleet will participate in the 26th iteration of RIMPAC later this year.
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