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The United States Seventh Fleet

Who we are:

 Seventh Fleet is the largest of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed fleets.

 At any given time there are 50-70 ships and submarines, 150 aircraft, and more than 27,000 Sailors and Marines in Seventh Fleet.

 Commanded by a 3-star Navy Flag officer, Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, since July 8, 2021.

Where we operate:

Seventh Fleet’s area of operations spans more than 124-million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.

 Seventh Fleet’s area of operations encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50% of the world’s population, including:

     - The five largest foreign militaries: China, Russia, India, North Korea, and the Republic of Korea

      - Five U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty Allies: the Philippines, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand

What we do:

For more than 75 years, Seventh Fleet has maintained a continuous forward presence in the Indo-Pacific, providing security and stability to the region.

 Historically, U.S. 7th Fleet ships, squadrons, operational units and senior leaders have promoted regional stability and maritime security through more than 1,000 annual theater security cooperation engagements.

 Engagements include major operational events, such as bilateral and multilateral exercises, port visits, senior leader exchanges, construction projects, military-to-military training, education seminars, and community relations events. Seventh Fleet routinely cooperates with allies and partners such as Australia, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, among others. Building partnerships and familiarity helps develop interoperability at the Fleet and tactical levels. 

Aircraft Carrier Operations — long-range strike capability:

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) is currently the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Seventh Fleet. Whereas other carriers are homeported in the U.S. and deploy periodically, USS Ronald Reagan is permanently forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan and spends about half of each year at sea.

USS Ronald Reagan, when combined with guided-missile destroyers and cruisers, creates a carrier strike group of up to 12 ships and 75 aircraft. These forces have a higher operational tempo than other Navy vessels, and being forward-deployed cuts an average of 17 days transit time to the region compared to forces based in the continental U.S. The Navy may assign another aircraft carrier to Seventh Fleet for temporary operations, adding 70 more aircraft and numerous ships to our long-range strike capability.

Surface Combatant Operations:

Seventh Fleet controls 10-14 destroyers and cruisers at any given time, with 11 based in Yokosuka and 25 periodically assigned to the region from Hawaii or San Diego. These surface ships carry Theater Ballistic Missile interceptors, long-range Tomahawk land-attack missiles and antiaircraft missiles.

Anti-Submarine Warfare:

Should tensions escalate into armed conflict, our advanced submarines would provide our greatest advantage against an enemy. At any given time there are 8-12 submarines in Seventh Fleet. All U.S. subs are nuclear-powered.

Aerial Reconnaissance:

Seventh Fleet has 16-20 reconnaissance aircraft, the newest being a militarized version of the Boeing 737 called the P8, which arrived in Dec. 2013. These aircraft provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance of the entire region. They also carry sonobuoys and torpedoes for antisubmarine warfare.

Amphibious and Mine Countermeasure ships:

Seventh Fleet has four amphibious ships, the largest of which is the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). Nearly the size of an aircraft carrier, America is capable of carrying dozens of helicopters, MV22 Ospreys and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft along with more than 1,700 Marines and their equipment. Amphibious ships are specifically designed to operate relatively close to shore, using landing craft to support of amphibious operations ashore. This design also makes them well-suited to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

In addition to the amphibious ships, Seventh Fleet also controls four mine countermeasure ships, designed to locate and neutralize mines. Both these and the amphibious ships are based in Sasebo, Japan.

Special Warfare:

Forward-deployed SEAL teams and special boat units are based in Guam. They often provide support to Presidential visits.

Expeditionary Forces

Naval Expeditionary Forces within Seventh Fleet are comprised of Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Coastal Riverine, Embarked Security, and Construction forces. These forces execute a wide range of missions in the littorals and on land, partnering with multiple nations throughout the Seventh Fleet. One of its missions is Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and command and control of forces in response to HA/DR missions that leverage our uniquely inherent Navy Expeditionary capabilities to render assistance throughout the Seventh Fleet.

Logistics ships:

Seventh Fleet is self-sufficient, with about 50 combat logistics ships commanded from Singapore. They are government-owned or -contracted ships, with partial civilian crews and Navy presence. These ships supply Seventh Fleet units throughout the region for continuous, sustained operations at sea.

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