Rebalancing Pacific Fleet: Operationalize U.S. Third Fleet and Move It into the Indo-Asia-Pacific in Support of the Defense Strategic Guidance
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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As a Pacific power, the United States has made a strategic commitment to rebalance to this vital region. Analysis of strategic, service, and combatant commander guidance compared against U.S. Pacific Fleet PACFLT and its numbered fleets mission statements highlights a disparity between U.S. Third Fleet C3F, the training fleet, and U.S. Seventh Fleet C7F, the operational fleet. This paper explains how this disparity must be rebalanced to accomplish and best support the Defense Strategic Guidance DSG national objectives. This paper recommends that PACFLT operationalize C3F and move it forward into the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Having two operational commanders forward will create focused maritime theaters in East Asia C7F and South Asia-Oceania C3F. This improves PACFLTs command and control mechanisms, reduces the tyranny of distance associated with this vast region, and enhances regional engagement. Additionally, this move would create standardization for the Navy by placing Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, in charge of all manning, training, and equipment issues for the service. This paper acknowledges the complexities of moving a headquarters, selecting a location, and creating new geographic seams, but presents an implementation plan and notional timeline to mitigate these concerns. The recommendations made throughout this paper, specifically the decisions to operationalize C3F, the Pacific Fleet Balancing Commission, and the move forward are sensible and should be adopted.
- Administration and Management
- Marine Engineering
- Military Forces and Organizations