World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

United States Pacific Fleet

USPACFLT United States Pacific Fleet
Logo of the Commander, USPACFLT
Active 1907–present
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Navy
Type Theater Command
Size 250,000 Navy and Marine personnel
2,000 aircraft
200 Ships
Part of United States Pacific Command
Garrison/HQ Pearl Harbor Naval Base
Engagements World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Global War on Terrorism
ADM Harry B. Harris Jr.
James O. Richardson
Husband E. Kimmel
Chester W. Nimitz
Raymond A. Spruance
Cecil D. Haney

The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a Pacific Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to the United States Pacific Command. Fleet headquarters is at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii, with large secondary facilities at North Island, San Diego Bay on the Mainland.

A Pacific Fleet was created in 1907 when the United States Fleet, with the Battle Fleet as the Pacific presence. Until May 1940, the Battle Fleet was stationed on the west coast of the United States (primarily at San Diego). During the summer of that year, as part of the U.S. response to Japanese expansionism, it was instructed to take an "advanced" position at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Long term basing at Pearl Harbor was so strongly opposed by the commander, Admiral James O. Richardson, that he personally protested in Washington. Political considerations were thought sufficiently important that he was relieved by Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, who was in command at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Pacific Fleet was formally recreated on 1 February 1941. On that day General Order 143 split the United States Fleet into separate Atlantic, Pacific, and Asiatic Fleets.


  • Composition of the Pacific Fleet in May 1941 1
  • Post 1945 2
  • Commanders 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6

Composition of the Pacific Fleet in May 1941

On 7 December, the Fleet consisted of the Battle Force, Scouting Force, Base Force, Amphibious Force (ComPhibPac),[1] Cruiser Force (COMCRUPAC), Destroyer Force (COMDESPAC), and the Submarine Force (COMSUBPAC).[2] Also in Hawaii was the Fourteenth Naval District, commanded by Rear Admiral Claude C. Bloch.

The Battle Force consisted of Battleships, Battle Force, made up of three Battleship Divisions: Battleship Division 1 with USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) and USS Arizona (BB-39) with USS Nevada (BB-36); Battleship Division 2 with USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS California (BB-44) with USS Oklahoma (BB-37); and USS Colorado (BB-45), USS Maryland (BB-46) and USS West Virginia (BB-48). These nine battleships were intended to counterbalance the ten battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was in dry dock and USS Colorado (BB-45) was being refitted at Bremerton Navy Yard, Washington State. USS Arizona (BB-39) was mated with USS Nevada (BB-36) and USS Oklahoma (BB-37) at that time.

Other components of the Battle Force included Aircraft, Battle Force, with Carrier Division One and Carrier Division Two, plus Cruiser Divisions 4, 5, and 6, as well as Destroyers, Battle Force.[3] The Scouting Force included Cruiser Division Three (USS Richmond (CL-9), USS Concord (CL-10), and USS Trenton (CL-11)) and Cruiser Division Nine and Submarines, Scouting Force.[4]

The Amphibious Force was formally known as Commander, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet (ComPhibPac). On 7 December 1941 the Amphibious Force comprised the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, under Army operational control, the 2nd Marine Division, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, the 2nd Defense Battalion (see Marine defense battalions), and a depot.[5] One of PhibPac's subordinate commands during World War II was Transports, Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, or TransPhibPac. The commander of TransPhibPac was known as ComTransPhibPac.

In December 1941, the fleet consisted of nine battleships, three aircraft carriers, 12 heavy cruisers, eight light cruisers, 50 destroyers, 33 submarines, and 100 patrol bombers. This was approximately the fleet's strength at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. That day, the Japanese Combined Fleet carried out the attack on Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States into World War II in the Pacific. The Pacific Fleet's Battle Line took the brunt of the attack, with two battleships destroyed, two salvageable but requiring lengthy reconstruction, and four more lightly to moderately damaged, forcing the U.S. Navy to rely primarily on aircraft carriers and submarines for many months afterward.

Subsequently Pacific Fleet engagements during World War II included the Battle of Guam, the Marshalls-Gilberts raids, the Doolittle Raid, the Solomon Islands campaign, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the Battle of Okinawa. More minor battles included the Battle of Dutch Harbor. The Submarine Force began a sustained campaign of commerce raiding against Japan's merchant marine, beginning the very first day of the war, which ultimately claimed 1,314 ships totalling about 5.3 million tons (by the imperfect postwar reckoning of the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, JANAC).[6] The West Loch disaster occurred at Pearl Harbor on 21 May 1944.

Post 1945

The Pacific Fleet took part in

  • Official site
  • Pacific Fleet Center-Long Beach (Campaign to permanently berth the retired USS Ranger (CV-61) in Long Beach, CA)
  • Silent Service - Submarine Warfare in WWII (Rare Footage)

External links

  1. ^, Administrative Order of Battle 7 December 1941
  2. ^ 7 December, ComSubPac was Admiral Thomas Withers, Jr., who relieved Wilhelm L. Friedell that fall. Blair, Clay, Jr. Silent Victory (New York: Bantam, 1976), pp.83 & 223.
  3. ^ Destroyers, Battle Force Destroyer Flotilla 1
  4. ^ Cruisers, Battle Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 7.12.1941
  5. ^, Amphibious Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
  6. ^ Blair, pp.877-8.
  7. ^ Hal M. Friedman, 'Arguing over the American Lake: Bureaucracy and Rivalry in the U.S. Pacific, 1945-47' Texas A&M University Press, 2009, ISBN 1603441255, 105-108.
  8. ^ Jeffrey Hartman, 'Guarding Alaska: A Memoir of Coast Guard Missions on the Last Frontier', iUniverse, 2012, ISBN 1475924771, 9781475924770, p.104
  9. ^ Center for Naval Analysis, Joint Task Force Operations since 1983, CRM94-42, July 1994
  10. ^ "Still Asset Details for DNSC9102252". DefenseLink. Retrieved 2007-04-22. 
  11. ^ Kitsap Sun, Pacific Fleet Changes, July 25, 1995
  12. ^ "(CVN-72): DANFS Abraham Lincoln USS".  
  13. ^ Photographer’s Mate Airman Tim Roache and Journalist 2nd Class Michael Cook (March 17, 2006). Carrier Strike Group Conducts Undersea Warfare Training"Lincoln". NNS060317-06. USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs. Retrieved 2010-12-24. 
  14. ^ Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Atlantic (COMNAVSURFPAC) is a post within the United States Pacific Fleet. As Naval Surface Forces, Pacific, it is a military formation, but the organization is often known as COMNAVSURFPAC. Its headquarters are on the West Coast of the United States.


See also


See List of units of the United States Navy

Naval shore commands PACFLT has authority of are:

As of 2011, the Pacific Fleet has authority of:

Between 25–27 March 2006, Carrier Strike Group Nine participated in a series of anti-submarine warfare exercises (ASW) in Hawaiian waters while en route to the U.S. Seventh Fleet's area of responsibility. In addition to the strike group, the exercise also included the nuclear-powered attack submarines Seawolf, Cheyenne, Greeneville, Tucson, and Pasadena, as well as land-based P-3 Orion aircraft from Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2 and associated patrol squadrons VP-4, VP-9, and VP-47.[12][13]

In 1996 two carrier battle groups were sent to the Taiwan area during the Third Taiwan Straits Crisis. Later ships of the Pacific Fleet, notably the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) provided support to the entry of INTERFET in East Timor in 1999.

Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific probably directed ..

In 1995 Pacific Fleet surface ships were reshuffled.[11] Effective Oct. 1, 1995 the U.S. Pacific Fleet's surface ships were to be reorganized into six core battle groups and eight destroyer squadrons. Permanent core battle groups were to include a battle group commander, aircraft carrier, carrier air wing and at least two cruisers.

Other contingency operation after 1991 included Operation Sea Angel (Bangladesh relief) (led by Commander III Marine Expeditionary Force), Operation Eastern Exit, and involvement in the Somali Civil War - 'Restore Hope'. During 'Restore Hope,' Navy command arrangements underwent a number of changes during the operation. At the start, the principal naval forces were the Ranger battle group (with Commander, Carrier Group One embarked on USS Ranger (CV-61) as Commander, Naval Forces), the Kitty Hawk battle group, an amphibious task unit including USS Tripoli (LPH-10), USS Juneau (LPD-10), USS Rushmore (LSD-47), and MV Lummus, and three ships from MPSRON TWO (MV Anderson, MV Bonnyman, and MV Phillips). Other events led to the departure of the carriers and, as a result, Commander, Naval Forces responsibilities devolved first to Commander, Carrier Group Three, on Kitty Hawk, and thence to Commander, Amphibious Group Three. Finally Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3 became COMNAVFOR on 15 January with the departure of COMPHIGRU THREE after the completion of the MPF offload. (CNA, 1994, 168)

During Operation Fiery Vigil in June 1991, the following vessels participated in the sealift phase of the evacuation: the Lincoln battle group (COMCARGRU 3 embarked): USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), USS Long Beach (CGN-9), USS Lake Champlain (CG-57), USS Merrill (DD-976), USS Gary (FFG-51), USS Ingraham (FFG-61), USS Roanoke (AOR-7), Amphibious Ready Group Alpha (COMPHIBRON 3 embarked): USS Peleliu (LHA-5), USS Cleveland (LPD-7), USS Comstock (LSD-45), USS Bristol County (LST-1198), and a large number of other vessels: USS Midway (CV-41), USS Curts (FFG-38), USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG-60), USS Thach (FFG-43), USS Arkansas (CGN-41), USS McClusky (FFG-41), USS St. Louis (LKA-116), USS San Bernardino (LST-1189), MV 1st Lt Lummus, MV American Condor, USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3), USNS Ponchatoula (T-AO-148), USNS Passumpsic (T-AO-107), USNS Hassayampa, USS Haleakala (AE-25), USNS Spica (T-AFS-9), USS Cape Cod (AD-43). (CNA, 1994, 113) Further operations included JTF Marianas (August–September 1992) and JTF Hawaii (September–October 1992).

Around September 10, 1990,[10] USS Princeton (CG-59) and the USS Reuben James (FFG-57) visited Vladivostok. This marked the first United States Navy visit to the Soviet Union's Pacific port of Vladivostok since before World War II. Before the visit was completed, the crew received word that their Pacific cruise was canceled. They returned to Long Beach and joined the USS Ranger Battle Group preparing to deploy to the Persian Gulf.

Other operations undertaken since include participation in the Alaskan Oil Spill Joint Task Force, including participation of Commander, Amphibious Group Three, as deputy CJTF. This was the defence response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989. Also, the Pacific Fleet was involved in Joint Task Force Philippines during the December 1989 coup attempt there, which involved two carrier battle groups, USS Midway and USS Enterprise-with their associated air wings operating in the Philippine Sea, chopped to JTF Philippines. During the operations, the carriers maintained deck alerts and 24-hour coverage of Manila with E-2C aircraft.[9]

The very large PACEX '89 in the North Pacific involved the USN, Canadian Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, and ROK Navy. At the end of Exercise PACEX '89 a 54 ship formation was assembled for photos. It included the flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) Battle Group, the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) Battle Group, two battleship surface action groups formed around the USS New Jersey (BB-62) and USS Missouri (BB-63), and a Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force task force.

On 7 March 1984, the Secretaries of Transportation and Navy signed a Memorandum of Agreement which created the Maritime Defense Zones (MDZ).[8] The Pacific MDZ is an echelon three Navy command under the Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Pacific MDZ has responsibility for coastal defense up to 200 nautical miles around the U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Aleutian Islands, and Hawaii during times of hostility. On 1 October 1990, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Alaska (COMUSNAVAK) was established as the Naval Component Commander to Commander, Alaskan Command (COMALCOM). Since its inception, COMUSNAVAK has grown to become responsible for coordinating all Navy activity in the Alaska and Aleutian area, for detailed planning and coordination for the Naval portion of the Joint and Combined Exercise Northern Edge, and coordinates high-visibility U.S. Navy ship visits throughout Alaska in support of public relations and recruiting initiatives.

Since 1950 the Pacific Fleet has been involved in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the two Taiwan Straits Crises, and a number of other operations including the Mayaguez Incident of 1975, as well as post-Vietnam related operations such as Operation New Arrivals. The RIMPAC exercise series began in 1971.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.