The U.S. 7th Fleet celebrated the 80th anniversary of its’ establishment during multiple services and events hosted in Brisbane Australia, March 15.

The commemoration services featured a ceremony and cake cutting at the MacArthur Museum, and an official opening of an exhibition commemorating the formation of 7th Fleet at the Queensland Maritime Museum; where Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Karl Thomas; U.S. Consul General, Christine Elder; the 7th Fleet Band; members of the Coral Sea Commemorative Association; and many other organizations and guests were in attendance.

“It’s an honor for me to be able to celebrate with you in Brisbane where the Fleet was founded,” said Thomas. “Although we’re commemorating the birth of 7th Fleet, I believe we’re really here to honor the legacy of the shared sacrifice between our two nations. In peace and war across generations, we have operated hand-in-hand to defend our shared values and keep the world safe for democracy.”

WWII marked the start of bilateral cooperation between U.S. and Australia. Since then, the two nations have worked alongside one another through conflict and peacetime, including the Korean War, Gulf War, Vietnam War, War on Terror, numerous peacetime exercises including Exercise Malabar and Talisman Saber, and with the shared vision of a free, open and secure Indo-Pacific.

“Just like we came together to defeat aggression in World War II, we are ready today and will be ready in the future, should it be necessary,” said Thomas. “Together, I am confident that we can meet our common challenges. We are up to the task.”

The events for the commemoration brought together many people from the local community to highlight 7th Fleet history with Australia, and to recognize the importance of our continuing relationship.

“I’ve had a great ongoing relationship with the 7th Fleet for the last 20 years,” said Mr. Barry Thiess, president of the Coral Sea Commemorative Association. “Being involved with 7th Fleet has always been a great way for me to bring people together and different organizations and groups to recognize what 7th Fleet has done for our Alliance between Australia and the U.S.”

The U.S. 7th Fleet was established March 15, 1943 — when the Southwest Pacific Force was renamed. Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet participated in several Pacific campaigns during World War II as the naval component commander under Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area, General Douglas MacArthur.

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.