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SAN DIEGO - Commander, U.S. Third Fleet (C3F) staff gathered at C3F headquarters March 13, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Fleet's founding.
C3F was established March 15, 1943 under the command of Fleet Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey. To this day, C3F provides maritime security throughout its area of responsibility which encompasses 50 million square miles of the Eastern and Northern Pacific ocean.
"Third Fleet was designed and answered a call to our nation to provide security and stability to the maritime domain and here we are 70 years later still providing that service with and for our partners and allies," said Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Vice Adm. Gerald Beaman.
The anniversary kicked off March 1 with historical facts and photographs about the fleet's accomplishments through email and posters displayed throughout the command in commemoration of C3F's 70 years of existence.
"It's incredible to learn how great of an impact Third Fleet had during WWII," said Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Janet Ringleman. "Learning about my command's history makes me proud to serve my country and to be a part of the Third Fleet staff."
Seventy years after its establishment, C3F continued to make history when it deployed the U.S. Navy's first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom (LCS 1), which departed her homeport of San Diego on an eight-month deployment providing maritime security and stability to the Asia-Pacific region March 1.
Beaman told the staff that C3F is continuing its historic role in protecting the collective maritime interests of the U.S., allies and partners in the Pacific while also providing realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective Global Navy "The fact our founding father was Fleet Adm. William F. 'Bull' Halsey speaks a lot about the rich heritage of this command and Third Fleet in particular," said Beaman. "His motto was 'hit hard, hit fast and hit often' and I think we've maintained that throughout the history of Third Fleet."
In addition to maritime security, C3F builds and sustains relationships with partner nations in the Pacific. Every two years, C3F hosts the world's largest Naval exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in and around the Hawaiian Islands. In 2012, C3F successfully completed its 23rd RIMPAC. This exercise involved 22 participating nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, and more than 200 aircraft.
"It is truly an honor to be amongst these Sailors and to call them shipmates, for what this headquarters staff does for the waterfront and for the West Coast-based naval forces is truly remarkable," added Beaman.
Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.