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Fleet Commanders’ Roundtable (FCRT) 2023 included: Royal Australian Navy Commander, Australian Fleet Rear Adm. Chris Smith; Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Commander In Chief, Self-Defense Fleet Vice Adm. SAITO Akira; Republic of Korea Navy, Commander, Republic of Korea Fleet Vice Adm. Kim Myung-soo; and U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Karl Thomas.
“Coming together as a fleet team with like-minded friends is critical to align efforts within our shared national interests as we uphold the norms that govern the maritime domain,” said Thomas. “Through our combined resolve, we keep the Indo-Pacific free and open and we deter aggression.”
The discussion focused on multilateral exercises, freedom of navigation operations, maritime law, and rules and norms. During the meeting, leaders agreed on the importance of continuing to strengthen coordination and operations with allies and partners in support of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
This year’s iteration of roundtable discussion builds upon FCRT 2022 previously hosted in Sydney, Australia, from June 26 to June 28, where fleet commanders agreed to continue to conduct multilateral exercises, enhance interoperability, and promote security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.