History of COMNAVFORJAPAN
On January 19, 1946, Commander Naval Activities Japan (COMNAVACT JAPAN) was established in Yokohama to oversee and direct U.S. naval shore activities in Japan. Fifth Fleet continued to exercise control over fleet activities, then later relinquished control of Fifth Fleet ships to COMNAVACT in February, 1946.
On 01 January 1947, COMNAVACT was redesignated Commander Naval Forces Far East (COMNAVFE) and moved its headquarters from Yokohama to Tokyo as the naval component commander under control of Commander-in-Chief, Far East. The command?s original mission was to administer the Navy units of the Occupation forces in Japan. In addition, COMNAVFE was responsible for all naval activities in the Philippines, Marianas Islands, the Ryukyu Islands and Bonin Islands; control of the waters and naval facilities and forces within the geographic area, destruction of all Japanese naval installations and ships, sweeping mines to make the harbors and sea lanes safe for shipping, and providing transportation for repatriated Japanese from throughout the Orient. COMNAVFE also assumed operational control of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.
In the first three months of the Korean War, COMNAVFE expanded its operating forces from one light cruiser and four destroyers to over 400 ships, many from UN member nations. These ships swept mines, blockaded enemy coasts, conducted surface and air strikes on the communists, and transported supplies and troops needed by UN ground, sea and air forces.
In March 1952, the geographical boundaries of the command were changed to exclude the Philippines, Marianas, Bonin and Volcano Islands. In December 1952, COMNAVFE headquarters moved from Tokyo to Yokosuka and into building C-1, the former Imperial Japanese Naval Headquarters building at Yokosuka Base. In November 1954, operational control of the U.S. Seventh Fleet was transferred to Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT). COMNAVFE retained operational control of far Eastern amphibious units and UN and U.S. Naval units charged with the patrol of Korean waters and military command over shore bases in the area. In August and September 1954, COMNAVFE gave logistic support to the evacuation of Vietnamese civilians from communist controlled areas of Indo- China to South Viet Nam. In February 1955, assistance was provided in the evacuation of Nationalist Chinese Troops and civilians from the Tachen Islands near China.
On 01 July 1957, COMNAVFE was redesignated Commander, Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ), and the area under the command of the Far East Commander was transferred to Commander in Chief Pacific (CINCPAC). The senior command in Japan was designated Commander U.S. Forces, Japan (COMUSFORJAPAN) or (USFJ). During this reorganization CNFJ area of responsibility was reduced to include only Japan and the Ryukyu Islands.
On 01 February 1962, Commander, Naval Forces, Japan was redesignated Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Japan. CNFJ represented all U.S. naval shore activities in Japan in relations with other military services, civic organizations, the Government of Japan and the Japanese public.
On 01 August 1996, COMNAVFORJAPAN became the immediate reporting senior for all U.S. Naval installation commanders in Japan, as well as the naval installation on Diego Garcia, under the Shore Installation Management (SIM) reorganization. Naval installations in Japan which fall under CNFJ responsibility are: Atsugi Naval Air Facility; Misawa Naval Air Facility; Fleet Activities, Okinawa; Fleet Activities, Sasebo; and Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, including all their related facilities, housing areas, fuel storage, ammunition storage and handling areas.
Posted by Lance Lindley
Aug 24 2001 12:25:00:000AM