Seventh Fleet Public Affairs
Collection Number: COLL/542
The U.S. Seventh Fleet was established on 15 March 1943 when the Southwest Pacific Force was renamed. Today, it is the largest forward-deployed U.S. fleet and its area of responsibility includes the Western Pacific. Commander U.S. Seventh 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. After World War II, 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 hostilities in Korea, the force was designated as U.S. Seventh Task Fleet. On 11 February 1950, the force assumed the name that it holds today: United States Seventh Fleet.
Seventh Fleet units participated in every major operation of the Korean War. The first Navy jet aircraft used in combat was launched from a Task Force 77 carrier on 3 July 1950 and the famous landings in Inchon, Korea, were conducted by Seventh Fleet amphibious ships. The battleships Missouri, New Jersey, Iowa and Wisconsin all served as flagships for Commander U.S. Seventh Fleet during the Korean War.
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 countermeasures operations in the coastal waterways of North Vietnam.
In response to the 2 August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, President George H.W. Bush directed Commander U.S. Seventh Fleet to assume additional responsibilities as Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. The Fleet Commander departed Yokosuka, Japan, immediately for the Arabian Gulf and was joined by the remainder of his staff aboard his flagship, USS Blue Ridge, on 1 September 1990. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, COMUSNAVCENT exercised command and control of the largest U.S. Navy armada since World War II. At the peak of combat operations, more than 130 U.S. Navy ships joined more than 50 allied ships to form a multi-national maritime force to conduct maritime intercept operations, minesweeping and combat strike operations against enemy forces in Iraq and Kuwait. COMUSNAVCENT included six aircraft carrier battle groups, two battleships, two hospital ships, 31 amphibious assault ships, four minesweeping and numerous combatants in support of allied air and ground forces.
After a decisive allied victory in the Gulf, Commander U.S. Seventh Fleet relinquished control of COMUSNAVCENT to Commander, Middle East Force on April 24,1991, and returned to Yokosuka, Japan, to continue duties as Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet.
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.
In 1996, Commander, Seventh Fleet planned and organized a deployment of forces in response to tensions in the Taiwan Strait. In 1998, Seventh Fleet staff deployed on short notice to plan and prepare for the evacuation of American citizens from Indonesia.
Since 2001, Seventh Fleet has taken an active role in the Global War on Terror 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, Seventh 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).
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of public affairs materials relating to the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet. Most of the materials found here are press releases, with a smaller number of photographs. The press releases generally focus on a single service member and were intended for news media in the member's hometown. Others highlight particular ships or events. Participation in exercises, such as Cobra Gold 86; foreign port visits including Australia, China, and Kenya; and overseas duty. A variety of human-interest stories and articles on Seventh Fleet ships and operations are included as well.
The collection is organized in two series. Series I contains Press Releases. The overall arrangement is chronological by year, with the individual documents filed by their assigned release number.
Completing the collection in Series II are four boxes of slides. The slides depict Navy personnel, ships, and equipment in a variety of locations and circumstances.
This collection should be cited as Seventh Fleet Public Affairs, 1985-1991, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC.