Navy Third Fleet Celebrates 70 Years in San Diego

The U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet, based in San Diego, turned 70 years old on Friday. This fleet was developed during the rise of war against Japan in World War II.

The Navy’s Third Fleet has many responsibilities extended across 50,000,000 square miles. The Third Fleet covers areas of the East and North Pacific Ocean like the Bering Sea, Alaska, Aleutian Islands, and a portion of the Arctic.

The Third Fleet also carries out critical duties for the economic health of the U.S. including maintaining strong relationships within the Pacific Rim region and communicating with major oil and trade sea lines.

The Third Fleet was originally formed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1943. The first commander of the Fleet was Admiral William “Bull” Halsey who started rotating shifts with Admiral Raymond Spruance, the commander of the Fifth Fleet.

The Third Fleet moved to San Diego in 1991 and has turned into a powerful component of the U.S. Navy. The current commander of the Fleet, Vice Admiral Gerald Beaman reminisced about the first commander of the Third Fleet: “The fact our founding father was Fleet Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey speaks a lot about the rich heritage of this command and Third Fleet in particular. His motto was “Hit hard, hit fast, and hit often” and I think we’ve maintained that throughout the history of Third Fleet.”

The Third Fleet celebrated its 70th anniversary in San Diego by sending emails to sailors including historical facts and photos of the Third Fleet and displaying signs and posters around San Diego Naval Bases.

The Third Fleet will continue to participate in the protection maritime operations and exercises as well as develop strong ties to the Pacific. The Third Fleet is currently comprised of six destroyer squadrons, three amphibious squadrons, and four aircraft carrier strike groups.