Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Navy announced the reestablishment of the United States Second Fleet to counter the growing threat from the smaller Russian Navy in the Atlantic Ocean.
“NATO is refocusing on the Atlantic in recognition of the great power competition prompted by a resurgent Russia,” said Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael as to why this fleet was reactivated after being deactivated in 2011.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said the Second Fleet will oversee forces on the U.S. East Coast and North Atlantic. The fleet will be based in Norfolk, Virginia. Adm. Richardson also said the National Defense Strategy justifies the reactivation of this fleet.
“Our National Defense Strategy makes clear that we’re back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex,” said Adm. Richardson. “That’s why today (May 4), we’re standing up Second Fleet to address these changes, particularly in the north Atlantic.”
The Second Fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships, aircraft and landing forces on the East Coast and northern Atlantic Ocean and conduct maritime, joint and combined operations and will train, certify and provide maritime forces to respond to global contingencies. The Commander of the Second Fleet, who still has to be appointed, will report to United States Fleet Forces Command.
The Second Fleet’s historic area of responsibility includes over 17 million km2 of the Atlantic Ocean, from the North Pole to the Caribbean, and from the shores of the United States to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Prior to the 2011 disestablishment, the Second Fleet oversaw 126 ships, 4,500 aircraft, and 90,000 personnel home-ported at U.S. Navy installations along the East Coast.
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