The Indo-Asia-Pacific region is of immense and growing importance to the world and U.S. interests. For a century and a half, the U.S. Navy has maintained a presence in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean to promote peace, regional cooperation and stability.
PACIFIC OCEAN (June 28, 2010) The guided-missile destroyer USS
McCampbell (DDG 85), left, and the guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis
Wilbur (DDG 54) transit the Western Pacific Ocean before taking part in
a live-fire exercise. Curtis Wilbur and McCampbell are assigned to
Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, and are underway supporting security and
stability in the western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass
Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam K. Thomas)
The 7th Fleet’s Area of Responsibility encompasses more than 48
million square miles (more than 124 million square kilometers)-- from the Kuril Islands in the north to the
Antarctic in the south, and from the International Date Line to the
68th meridian east, which runs down from the India-Pakistan border.
The area includes 35 maritime countries and the world’s five largest foreign armed forces -- People’s Republic of China, Russia, India, North Korea and Republic of Korea. Five of the seven U.S. Mutual Defense Treaties are with countries in the area -- Republic of the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
Our presence in the region is more important than ever. U.S. naval forces help encourage dialogue, promote growth and ensure the free flow of trade, of which the oceans have increased importance. Ninety percent of the world’s commerce travels by sea; the vast majority of the world’s population lives within a few hundred miles of the oceans; and nearly three quarters of the planet is covered by water. Half of the world’s population lives within the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
The Indo-Asia-Pacific region is one of the most dynamic areas of our rapidly-changing world. The fleet has to be flexible and responsive to address a range of activities that are particularly important in the region. It can take more than two weeks for a ship to get from San Diego to the eastern boundary of the Area of Responsibility, and a similar amount of time to the western boundary from Norfolk, Va. The presence of 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed forces facilitates rapid response to natural and manmade crises in the region.
At any given time, there are 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft and 40,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel assigned to the fleet. This includes forces operating from bases in Japan and Guam and rotationally-deployed forces based in the United States. Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F), is embarked aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. The flagship commands and controls the fleet, and fosters military-to-military relationships through scheduled port visits and military exercises.
U.S. 7th Fleet units take part in as many as 100 bilateral and multilateral exercises each year. In addition to these exercises, ships deployed to the 7th Fleet conduct
more than 250 port visits every year.
The presence of the U.S. 7th Fleet helps ensure the security and stability of this key region.