The commander of the US Pacific Fleet, is studying the pros and cons of bringing back the US Navy’s 1st Fleet.
Admiral Philip S. Davidson, head of the Indo-Pacific Command, said that reviving the fleet is a necessary action in the current situation.
The 1st Fleet was established in 1946, under the payroll of the Pacific Fleet and performed mainly in the Western Pacific region. The 1st Fleet was disbanded in 1973 and after nearly 50 years, due to new developments in the Indo-Pacific, the US decided to re-establish this Fleet.
If the 1st Fleet returns, experts say Singapore or Australia could be a good choice as a base. However, the 1st Fleet will not necessarily be stationed in a fixed location in the Indo-Pacific region, it can function as a sea command, agile and maneuverable.
A naval fleet in the Indian and South Asian regions will reassure allies, while ensuring potential adversaries such as the PLAN will be wary. And that is also the US answer to its commitment to global presence to ensure freedom at sea. This is not the only organizational change of the US Navy, as it faces new threats at sea. The US plan also renamed the 2nd Fleet Command to the Atlantic Fleet, in response to Russian threats.
The plan to create a new fleet is a strong signal to China that the United States will not leave, but also come closer to the region. If the US Navy goes ahead with the creation of the First Fleet in the Indian Ocean, it will reaffirm that Washington continues to pay special attention to the region, not just the Western Pacific.
Currently, the US Navy has 7 naval fleets, including the 2nd Fleet, with headquarters located in Norfolk (Virginia, USA) responsible for the Atlantic Ocean. The 3rd Fleet is based in Pearl Harbor (Hawaii, USA) responsible for the East and Central Pacific.