By AUDREY McAVOY
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander says he plans to expand the role of the U.S. 3rd Fleet commander and her staff.
The Pacific Fleet consists of the 3rd Fleet headquartered in San Diego and the 7th Fleet headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan. For decades, the 7th Fleet has taken command of 3rd Fleet ships when they crossed the international dateline.
But Adm. Scott Swift said Tuesday he plans to have 3rd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Nora Tyson and her staff maintain operational control of some of these ships when they travel west.
For example, he says the 3rd Fleet could lead the Navy's response to a tsunami while the 7th Fleet focuses on Japanese earthquake relief.
Swift says the Navy hasn't been taking full advantage of 3rd Fleet capacity and capability.