YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Leaders from U.S. 7th Fleet and III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) came together for staff talks aboard 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) in port at Yokosuka Naval Base Oct. 24.
The event provided a forum to facilitate discussion and enhance awareness of important topics related to the 7th Fleet and III MEF relationship and to synchronize efforts between the “Blue-Green” team in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
“The 7th Fleet and III MEF team is critical to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. The goal is to be a more agile, more sustainable force by routinely operating together,” said Vice Adm. Bill Merz, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “There is an enormous opportunity to advance our effectiveness by leveraging each other’s inherent strengths.”
“We can’t exist in isolation. We can accomplish more together than we can apart,” said Lt. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy, the commanding general of III MEF. “The III MEF and 7th Fleet partnership remains in a constant state of readiness for anything that might occur. Working on our integration is our number one priority.”
7th Fleet serves with III MEF to continually execute missions that enable maritime superiority through effective command and control, prosecution of naval fires, and operational maneuvers.
“Interoperability between the Navy and Marine Corps helps us deliver lethal combat capability and integrated American seapower in support of our nation and our neighbors in the Indo-Pacific,” said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “Our joint talks give us the opportunity to cooperate and progress in this important region.”
Expeditionary Strike Group 7 works directly with Marines from 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and their subordinate units to support a wide variety of multi-service and multinational exercises including Talisman Sabre, Cobra Gold, KAMANDAG, Tiger Strike, and others.
Additionally, the Navy-Marine Corps team provides a ready force that is forward deployed and postured to respond to natural disasters and contingency operations, working with over ten different nations to provide a ready relevant force that capable of immediate action across the Indo-Pacific.
III MEF is a forward-deployed, expeditionary air-ground-logistics team of approximately 27,000 Marines, capable of military operations ranging from major combat operations to humanitarian aid and crisis response.
U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet has approximately 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors in the AOR at any given time.