Pacific Fleet Exercises
The 7th Fleet's area of responsibility includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian Oceans -- stretching from International Date Line to the east coast of Africa, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south. As this graphic shows, the region is more than 14 times the size of the entire continental United States. Distances are great in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. For example, it is more than 10,400 nautical miles from San Diego, California to mid-Indian Ocean -- a 21-day transit for a ship steaming 20 knots. By comparison, it is 4,343 nautical miles from Norfolk, Virginia to Naples, Italy. The United States has longstanding security treaties with six nations in the area, and military-to-military contacts with more than two dozen others.
Forward deployed forces routinely participate in bilateral and multilateral exercises to act as a facilitator for confidence building measures among our friends and allies. The Commander, Seventh Fleet consistently and constantly reassures our friends and allies within the theater that our maritime forces are trained, able and ready to respond to any security scenario. Thus, such engagement efforts ensure an opportunity to maintain and achieve peace within the region, and build upon the concepts of collective security.
Illustrating the depth and scope of Pacific Fleet naval presence in the region are the myriad activities and number of countries engaged on a routine basis. There are over 125 joint and combined exercises conducted with friends and allies each year. These exercises are an essential part of the overall engagement program, and are imperative to building friendships and maintaining interoperability. The 7th Fleet exercises include Tandem Thrust, Valiant Blitz, Keen Edge and RIMPAC being some of the larger ones. There are smaller exercises, too, where fewer assets are used, and their names may be just as unique as their goals: Sea Bat, Tricrab, Dieselex, Shin Kame, Lungfish. The Pacific Fleet's ships conduct more than 700 port visits throughout the region for crew liberty, periodic maintenance, and theater engagement purposes.
One of the cornerstones of maintaining a ready, combat force and capability is the Pacific Fleet's robust exercise program. There are three objectives to be attained in this arena: the training of US naval forces in maritime and joint environments, field testing innovative concepts and tactics through fleet battle lab experiments pursuing commonality through combined exercises, and establishing interoperability between the U. S. and regional countries in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search and rescue. Such an ambitious effort allows a stair-step approach in building forces that are trained and ready to respond. This training effort permits US forces to progress through basic, intermediate, and advanced tactical scenarios of greater complexity that reflects a force that is confident, capable and prepared. This process is a "crawl, walk, run evolution." This training effort permits our forces to be actively engaged in a robust training environment that is composed of various building blocks of operational difficulty and complexity.
A passing exercise can involve rather limited interaction with local military forces, such as U.S. notification of neighboring countries as ships pass through nearby waters. Passing exercises can also involve more extensive joint exercises with local forces. Naval passing exercises are conducted with each country in the region, although their scale varies significantly. Larger passing exercises can involve a U.S. carrier group. In these cases, U.S. and local forces may conduct joint naval and air exercises. Smaller passing exercises might involve the passage of a single U.S. destroyer, with interaction possibly limited to communications. These small-scale exercises are thought to be important in laying the groundwork for future military-to-military relationships. The contribution of the local country to passing exercises is typically smaller than the U.S. force.
- ANNUALEX Bilateral USN/JMSDF Maritime Exercise
- CARAT Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training:
- Bilateral SEA readiness and training exercise with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia
- COBRA GOLD Joint air/land/sea/SOF exercise with Thailand
- COOP from the Sea Joint US/Russia amphib/humanitarian disaster relief exercise
- CROCODILE Joint/combined Fleet Training Exercise with maritime/land defense focus with Australia
- DUGONG Bilateral Very Shallow Water explosive ordinance disposal/Mine exercise with Australia
- FLASH IROQUIOIS Interoperability training between SOCPAC NSW and Indian SOF
- FOAL EAGLE Joint/combined training exercise in support of defense of Korea
- HONG KONG SAREX Improve multilateral coordination in Western Pacific
- INDUSA Bilateral naval training exercise series with Indonesia
- INDUSA RECONEX Bilateral reconnaissance exercise with Indonesia
- INDUSA SALVEX Bilateral USN/Indonesia salvage training
- JMSDF DIESELEX Anti-diesel submarine exercise with JMSDF
- JMSDF EODEX Bilateral JMSDF/USN explosive ordinance disposal exercise
- JMSDF MCMEX Bilateral JMSDF/USN mine countermeasure exercise
- JMSDF MINEX Bilateral JMSDF/USN Mining exercise
- JTFEX Joint Task Force Exercise for deploying carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups
- KEEN SWORD Joint/Bilateral exercise to increase readiness/interoperability for defense of Japan
- LUNGFISH Bilateral Australia/USN submarine Undersea Warfare exercise
- MALABAR Suface/Submarine/Air interoperability exercise with India
- Malay EODEX Bilateral Malaysia/USN explosive ordinance disposal exercise with Malaysia
- MALAY MINEX Bilateral Malaysia/USN mine exercise with Malaysia
- MERLION Bilateral exercise emphasizing interoperability with US carrier battle groups and Singapore
- MERLYNX Bilateral exercise for maritime special operations with Singapore
- RIMPAC Rim of the Pacific: Biennial large scale multi-national carrier battle group power projection and sea control exercise.
- ROKN ANTISOFEX Bilateral anti-special operations forces exercise with Republic of Korea
- ROKN DIESELEX Bilateral anti diesel submarine training exercise with Republic of Korea
- ROKN EODEX Bilateral USN/ROKN explosive ordinance disposal exercise with Republic of Korea
- ROKN MCMEX Bilateral USN/ROKN mine countermeasure exercise with Republic of Korea
- ROKN MINEX Bilateral USN/ROKN mine exercise with Republic of Korea
- ROKN SALVEX Bilateral USN/ROKN salvage exercise with Republic of Korea
- ROKN SEALEX Bilateral USN/ROKN SEAL exercise with Republic of Korea
- ROKN SUBEX Bilateral USN/ROKN submarine vs. submarine exercise with Republic of Korea
- SEABAT Bilateral maritime exercise with Bangladesh
- TANDEM THRUST Joint readiness exercise to improve interoperability and validate PACOM two-tiered command control concept.
- THAI MINEX Bilateral USN/THAI mine exercise
- THAI SALVEX Bilateral USN/THAI salvage exercise
- TRICRAB Multi-national explosive ordinance disposal exercise with Australia and Singapore
- ULCHI-FOCUS LENS Joint/combined exercise conducted in conjunction with Republic of Korea national mobilization exercise
- UNDERSEAL Bilateral special warfare training with Thai SEALS
- VALIANT MARK Small scale bilateral amphibious exercise with Singapore
- VALIANT USHER Joint/combined regimental size amphibious landing exercise
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