Expeditionary Strike Group 7
Commander, Amphibious Group 1
Commander, Task Force 76 (CTF76)
Commander, Amphibious Force, Seventh Fleet
Per CNO guidance regarding alignment of Expeditionary Strike Groups and Amphibious Groups, Amphibious Group 1 [COMPHIBGRU ONE] and COMPHIBGRU ONE DET Sasebo were renamed Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (COMEXSTRKGRU) SEVEN and Officer in Charge, COMEXSTRKGRU SEVEN DET Sasebo, effective 1 October 2006.
Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7 serves as: Commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet; Commander, Task Force Seven Six; and Commander, Maritime Prepositioned Force Seventh Fleet. As Commander, Amphibious Group ONE, the commander provides oversight for the operations and planning, personnel, maintenance, logistics, training, and communications of the units, all of which are forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan, unless otherwise indicated:
As Commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. Seventh Fleet, the Commander is Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet's primary Navy advisor on amphibious matters in the Seventh Fleet Area of Operations (AOR), and conducts a number of bi- and multi-lateral exercises each year in support of Commander In Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet's Cooperative Engagement Strategy.
As Commander, Task Force Seven Six, the Commander is responsible for the conduct of amphibious operations support of a full range of theater contingencies, ranging from humanitarian and disaster relief operations, to full combat operations. Additionally, he exercises operational control of the explosive ordnance technicians of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit FIVE, the SEALS of Naval Special Warfare Unit, both based in Guam, and finally, Mine Countermeasures Squadron ONE, based out of Ingleside, TX., and which includes USS Patriot and USS Guardian.
Finally, as Commander, Maritime Prepositioned Force, the Commander is in charge of Military Sealift Command maritime prepositioning ships during exercises or real-world contingencies.
The headquarters for Amphibious Group ONE is based out of White Beach, Okinawa, Japan. The command also maintains a separate, smaller staff group, under the guidance of the Deputy Commander based out of Sasebo in the southern portion of the island of Kyushu. Both staffs work for Amphibious Group One, which in turn, works for the Seventh Fleet Commander. In August 1999 the staff of Commander, Amphibious Group One (CPG1), Sasebo, moved into the newly renovated building T-358, located immediately across from India Basin Pier 8, and next to Sasebo's Afloat Training Group detachment. Although headquartered at White Beach, Okinawa, CPG1 maintains a contingent of staff members in Sasebo to assist the ships with maintenance, training, supply, manpower and public affairs issues.
In October 2000 Belleau Wood (LHA 3) completed the Navy's largest ever crew exchange and hull swap in Sasebo, Japan. The deployment began for the San Diego crew aboard USS ESSEX (LHD 2) in early June 2000. Port visits to Hawaii, Guam and Hong Kong preceded their arrival in Sasebo. After arriving in Japan, the two large-deck amphibious ships moored in India Basin at Fleet Activities Sasebo and began an aggressive training schedule allowing both crews to learn their new ship. Everything from basic ship familiarization and fire fighting procedures, to engineering plant layout and hull-specific differences had to be learned before the 27 July 2000 exchange of command. The San Diego crew delivered (USS Essex) the Third Fleet Battle "E" winning Big Deck Amphib to the FDNF (Forward Deployed Naval Forces), and returned to San Diego as the new owners of USS Belleau Wood. The hull swap benefited the Navy, saving money on personnel transfer costs. Nearly 2000 crewmembers (1000 from each ship) and their families were able to remain stable in both Sasebo and San Diego.
The U.S. Navy announced 26 April 2019 that the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) and landing platform dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18) will become part of the U.S. 7th Fleet forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) in Sasebo, Japan, the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) will shift its homeport to San Diego for its midlife modernization and the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) will shift its homeport to Norfolk to undergo scheduled maintenance. America is capable of supporting the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35B) as part of an embarked U.S. Marine Corps Air Combat Element (ACE).
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