Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander ofU.S. 7th Fleet, addresses the audience during the establishment ceremony for Commander, Task Force (CTF) 75. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Timothy Wilson)

SANTA RITA, Guam - Commander, Task Force (CTF) 75 was established in a ceremony at Camp Covington at Naval Base Guam Jan. 9.

The event formalized CTF-75's command and control of assigned Navy Expeditionary Combat Forces within the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as well as combat operations.

"In a very short period of time, because of the Sailors we have, we completely integrated this effort into the larger 7th Fleet combat readiness scheme, our theater security cooperation efforts and crisis responses," said Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, the event's guest speaker. "They provide us great access and really move our strategic intent forward in a way that is subtle and effective."

CTF-75 is capable of providing the fleet with diverse warfighting capabilities such as coastal riverine support, explosive ordnance disposal, diving, salvage and construction capabilities, as well as expeditionary intelligence and logistics in near-shore waters, littoral regions and inland areas.

"I am proud to be the commander of the operational forces highlighted today," said Commodore (Capt.) Erich Diehl, commander CTF-75. "This ceremony marks the transition from our initial operating capability to Task Force 75's full operating capability."

Diehl said the cooperation and support from Joint Region Marianas and Naval Base Guam for the task force has been critical, not only for the expeditionary Sailors, but also their families.

"There are more than 1,000 Sailors postured forward, ready to respond, and who are today constantly building those critical partnerships prior to the onset of crisis," Diehl said. "CTF-75 is on-point and always ready."

The foundations of CTF-75 includes always being combat-ready and able to deploy anywhere in U.S. 7th Fleet in response to any contingency. The Navy's expeditionary forces exist first and foremost to support the fleet's warfighting operations and are the Navy's sea-to-shore interface.