Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

New US naval command created to step up presence in Atlantic

US Navy's new command puts Russia in the crosshairs – media Fourth Fleet celebrates 10-year anniversary at NAS Mayport
Leonard Rios | 06 May, 2018, 16:43

At the same time, the U.S. Navy is re-establishing its 2nd Fleet command, which was eliminated in 2011 in a move to save costs.

"That's why today, we're standing up Second Fleet to address these changes, particularly in the north Atlantic", he added.

Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said the move comes as the security environment "continues to grow more challenging and complex".

USA officials have expressed concerns about Russia's increasing naval capability, particularly with regard to its submarine fleet, as well as the Russian's navy increased presence in the Atlantic.

Meanwhile the US DoD announced on 4 May that it had officially offered to host the proposed NATO Joint Force Command (JFC) for the Atlantic at its naval facilities in Norfolk, Virginia.

The revived fleet will be headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, and will be responsible for Naval operations in the northern Atlantic and the eastern coast of the U.S. Details of its size and leadership structure have not been announced, but its primary objective is clear - to counter a growing threat from Russian Federation. That is a dramatic reversal of the situation when the Second Fleet was disbanded.

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Before it was disbanded the 2nd Fleet played a key role during the Cold War years, with operations in the North Atlantic and supporting USA naval forces in the Mediterranean.

Earlier this year, the United States military said in a new national defense strategy that countering Russian Federation, along with China, would be a priority, the latest sign of shifting priorities after more than a decade and a half of focusing on the fight against Islamist militants.

Viktor Chirkov, the head of the Russian Navy, has publicly said that the number of Russian submarine patrols have increased by around 50 percent over the past five years as Moscow extended its military activities into neighboring Ukraine and later Syria.

A US Navy official told CNN that the fleet will eventually involve 250 personnel and be led by a three-star admiral.

Adm. Phil Davidson is leaving Fleet Forces to take over U.S. Pacific Command. He called the new Nato Atlantic command "the linchpin of transatlantic security".

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