Home » Budget Industry » Navy Reestablishes U.S. 2nd Fleet to Face Russian Threat; Plan Calls for 250 Person Command in Norfolk


Navy Reestablishes U.S. 2nd Fleet to Face Russian Threat; Plan Calls for 250 Person Command in Norfolk

USS Farragut (DDG-99) transits the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 2018 in territory that will soon be overseen by a reestablished U.S. 2nd Fleet. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with a statement from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and a Pentagon statement on a potential Joint NATO command in Norfolk.

Faced with a more active Russian fleet and increasing military competition across the world, the Navy has elected to reestablish U.S. 2nd Fleet to manage assets closer to the homeland, according to a memo announcing the command obtained by USNI News.

The memo, signed by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer earlier this week, approved reestablishing the command in Norfolk, Va., based on a recommendation of outgoing U.S. Fleet Forces Command commander Adm. Phil Davidson and endorsed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

“As previously briefed to you by the CNO, the re-establishment of SECOND Fleet was directed to better respond to the changing security environment,” reads the memo.
“Commander, SECOND Fleet will exercise training and operational authorities over assigned ships, aircraft, and landing forces in conducting maritime, joint and combined operations in support of designated Unified and Allied Commanders.”

The command will stand up July 1 and will have an initial manning of 11 officers and four enlisted personnel. The staff will eventually grow to 85 officers, 164 enlisted and seven civilians.

“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,” Richardson said Friday during the Fleet Forces change of command ceremony in Norfolk.
“That’s why today, we’re standing up 2nd Fleet to address these changes, particularly in the North Atlantic.”

Former crest of US 2nd Fleet. US Navy Image

While the command now exists on paper, the service still needs to work through specifics such as the rank of the commander and how the command and control relationships will work with the joint combatant commands. In its last iteration, a three-star oversaw 2nd Fleet before the command merged with U.S. Fleet Forces in 2011.

USNI News understands specifics of the plan will be worked through Fleet Forces and its new commander Adm. Christopher Grady, with details to be finalized this summer.

While a change in the command and control relationships for warships throughout the Navy was included in the recommendations in the two Navy reviews conducted after a series of fatal collisions in the Western Pacific, the move to stand the fleet back up is rooted in increasing threats in the Atlantic from Russia, several officials familiar with the decision told USNI News.

Before the 2014 seizure of Crimea by Russian forces, the role of U.S. warships operating on the American side of the Atlantic was largely in support of humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions (HA/DR) missions and drug interdiction work in U.S. Southern Command’s U.S. 4th Fleet. 2nd Fleet was shuttered alongside U.S. Joint Forces Command in 2011, and just years later the Navy and Congress began a push to reestablish 2nd Fleet as Russia grew more aggressive over, on and under the Atlantic.

In 2016, now-Naval Forces Europe commander Adm. James Foggo III put the conflict in stark terms when he declared the U.S. and Russia were engaged in the “Fourth Battle of the Atlantic.”

Russian submarine Severodvinsk

“Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict,” Foggo wrote in U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings.
“Not only have Russia’s actions and capabilities increased in alarming and confrontational ways, its national-security policy is aimed at challenging the United States and its NATO allies and partners.”

Moving ahead, it’s unclear what the future will be for U.S. 4th Fleet, the naval arm of Southern Command that was established by the George W. Bush administration in 2008. The role of warships 4th Fleet was largely to play host to Coast Guard law enforcement detachments that had the legal authority to interdict traffickers on the high seas and in countries with law enforcement agreements with the U.S. The role for the Navy was diminished in the last several years, however, as the last of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates retired from service in 2015 and as the Pentagon has oriented its efforts towards high-end warfighting.

Before the establishment of 4th Fleet, the commander of 2nd Fleet was responsible for the central and South American operations.

In addition to standing up 2nd Fleet, the Pentagon announced it had offered Norfolk as a potential location for the proposed NATO Joint Force Command for the Atlantic.

“The new JFC-Norfolk will ensure that NATO can successfully conduct operations across the full spectrum of Alliance missions in the trans-Atlantic region in the northern Atlantic,” read the statement.
“The future Atlantic-oriented JFC represents part of the ongoing NATO effort to adapt its command structure to ensure that the Alliance can meet the challenges in today’s security environment. It will strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense posture, and its ability to project stability beyond its borders.”

The decision for the final location of the command will be made this summer.

The following is the complete May 4, 2018 statement on the proposed NATO command.

DoD Offers to Host New NATO Command

The U.S. Department of Defense announced today that it has officially offered to host the proposed NATO Joint Force Command for the Atlantic at its naval facilities in Norfolk, Virginia.

The new JFC-Norfolk will ensure that NATO can successfully conduct operations across the full spectrum of Alliance missions in the trans-Atlantic region in the northern Atlantic.

The future Atlantic-oriented JFC represents part of the ongoing NATO effort to adapt its command structure to ensure that the Alliance can meet the challenges in today’s security environment. It will strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense posture, and its ability to project stability beyond its borders.

The North Atlantic Council is expected to make a final determination on the location of the new JFC this summer.

  • ShermansWar

    Bravo. Haven’t even read the article, Don’t need to, will when I’m done but right off the cuff, Clap Clap, Well done, this is the single most significant development the Navy has done since pulling out a regular med carrier from 6th fleet, except this is a positive development. Ultimately this will lead to a rebirth of a robust ASW capability as we resume surveillance in the GUIK gap as Navy assets find themselves constantly tasked to track Russian subs, and deployed assets are eventually going to get around to giving feedback on how goes the great subhunt and what they need to do it better, and a materiel response to provide support for ASW warfare&OPs will happen.

    They never should have closed 2nd fleet and the SOSUS line down to begin with. Great news. Now I’m going to go read the article.

    • Hurrah, let’s try to turn back time and refight the glory days of the late Cold War while ignoring how much the world has changed in the last 30 years. The Soviet Navy long dead and Russia has a grand total of 26 attack submarines (who knows how many of which are actually operational) and they are not going to come pouring through the GIUK Gap to attack REFORGER convoys (which no longer exist or are needed).

      • Duane

        Standing up 2nd Fleet is not refighting the Cold War … rather it is recognition of the increasing importance of NATO in resisting actual, not merely threatened Russian aggression, as in the Crimea and Ukraine, and threatened Russian aggression in the Baltic where the Rooskies are busy trying to intimidate Latvia, Luthuania, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark, and Norway, along with the Black Sea states of Georgia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

        This isn’t the Cold War. This is a return to pre-Bolshevik Russian imperialism, with Putin playing the role of Peter the Great, if not Ivan the Terrible.

        • Hemisphere Samba

          What “actual” Russian aggression? Russia is a neighbor of those states and has never threatened them. If anything, NATO is threatening Russia. NATO is the problem here.

        • tiger

          Drinking that Kool Aid? The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.

    • muzzleloader

      Now that you mention the SOSUS line, one wonders what condition the system is in. No doubt will need some upgrades.

      • PolicyWonk

        That system was pretty expensive to maintain – I don’t think anything has been done to it in years – and it’ll cost a fortune to get it back in shape.

        • Curtis Conway

          It still works I’m sure.

          • PolicyWonk

            I for one hope you’re right.

            However, I recall reading an article about a collection of marine scientists what were using SOSUS to do research, and part of it mentioned them wanting to get as much done as quickly as possible, because the system wasn’t being maintained and performance was rapidly deteriorating.

            I’d love to be proven incorrect…

          • Curtis Conway

            New technology.

          • PolicyWonk

            As I said – I truly hope you’re right.

          • tiger

            Great. Marine biology types listening to whales blowing bubbles….. Great use of my money.

          • PolicyWonk

            It is – if the USN isn’t using the assets – then we might as well get some use out it.

            Besides – profiling biologicals is one of the jobs commonly done by your friendly neighborhood sonar man.

          • tiger

            Where do we even find quality sonar techs? Every kid has earbuds cranked up to deaf level today?

          • PolicyWonk

            Well, while a lot of ’em do have the ‘buds cranked, there are still many who don’t.

          • ShermansWar

            I don’t believe it does, I believe it was abandoned and the facilities were closed years ago.

          • Rocco

            Hello Curtis….I was not able to ask your question about the F-16 we talked about as the T- Birds cancelled their season due to the lose of number 4!

          • Curtis Conway

            I saw the articles that mentioned that. I hope they get back on their horse soon.

          • Rocco

            Agreed 😇

      • I think they renamed it to another term but the concept remains

      • RunningBear

        Reconstituting the SOSUS line would not be the “same”. SOSUS lines can now be fiber optic cables, laid wherever the demand and regardless of the terrain. The amplifier/ repeater technology benefits from fiber/ laser power and fiber replacement for sensors allows for a simplification of the interfaces to the networked unmanned computers/ algorithms. Fiber is being used as a sensor for effective perimeter (fence) security by many organizations. Shipping and submarines (no longer “so” stealthy) are detectable regardless of sound technologies. The “black holes” are becoming more gray each day! Also, networking with ISR/ ASW satellites, ships, planes and computer algorithms provides for “round the world” tracking capabilities but not weapons deployments. Those weapons have to be brought within range of the ennama’s “black hole”.
        IMHO.
        🙂

        • Duane

          SOSUS was 50 year old tech … undoubtedly far superior sensors are available and in use today … though for national security purposes, the new stuff won’t be blabbed about much, if at all.

          • RunningBear

            Northrop Grumman Corporation Navigation Systems Division, Fiber Optic Acoustic Sensors. Light Weight Wide Aperture Array, Virginia Class; Towed Arrays, subs and ships; 100km bottom arrays, etc. Same game, different tools.
            🙂

      • Secundius

        Three total! One on Pacific Ocean near Whidbey Island, Washington State and two in Atlantic. One from Dam Neck, Virginia and the other from St. Mawgan, United Kingdom. All three are suspended in ~1,440-feet Depth. Last reported usage was in 1998, and no plans at yet to replace with Fiber Optic Cable…

    • Hemisphere Samba

      So Russian subs are going to attack the United States? Why? What purpose would that serve? Russia has done nothing but ever extend the olive branch to us, which we have slapped back. No. This is more spending on a useless endeavor. Russia is not threat to the U.S. from the sea.

    • tpharwell

      Where will the ships come from for this new fleet ?

      • Rocco

        The boneyard!!

      • tiger

        America’s overdue Visa Card.

  • PolicyWonk

    I gather some of the good folks in the 4th fleet will have to pack their long underwear, as the weather in the regions they’ll be patrolling is likely to get a trifle chilly…

    • ShermansWar

      Put the LCS in the 4th fleet and move the real ships up north.

      • PolicyWonk

        At least half of the LCS fleet is already there, efficiently fulfilling their corporate welfare mission: purchased at maximum cost, for the lowest possible ROI, while rapidly transforming themselves into the high-maintenance Littoral Combat Pier Queens they were designed to be ;-P

        Mission accomplished!

        • TaskForce141

          Wartime: L.C.S. = Low Chance of Survival

          • PolicyWonk

            LOL!

        • Jon

          C’mon man, stop with the negative waves! The ninja warrior LCS, each with one of our innumerable and ever-self-replicating Admirals aboard, will dash in from the shadows, execute attacks with their non-existent weapons and abysmal sensors, then dart back into the shadows of convenient islands, to be lost in the clutter…

        • Duane

          unadulterated balderdash, every single word you wrote

      • Hemisphere Samba

        For what? Let Britain, Germany, etc. take care of themselves. Enough titty-feeding.

  • Curtis Conway

    With things heating up in the Caribbean Basin, Central and South America you may have to bring back Commander, Fleet Air, Caribbean (COMFAIRCARIB).

    • Hemisphere Samba

      What’s heating up in the Caribbean?

      • Curtis Conway

        Have you followed Venezuela lately. The last administration pulled a lot of support from some Central American countries too, and they are destabilizing, and here come their citizens to our Southern Border.

        • Hemisphere Samba

          So the U.S. government won’t protect our borders so we need to police the world in the hope of making their countries so good they’ll quit trying to get to the U.S., otherwise, our U.S. government will allow us to be overrun. is that your logic?

          • Donald Carey

            Helping make other countries safe to live in would be a good thing. It also would help the U.S. – if their people are better off they would be better able to buy things, including things made in the U.S. not to mention less like to try to flock to the U.S. By the way, Samba, if the U.S. is so deplorable, how come everyone flocks here and not to say China or Russia?

          • Hemisphere Samba

            You can go there, with you family, and put your shoulder to the wheel. You can also share your assets to world charities, but you don’t have any Constitutional authority to use anyone else’s tax dollars for you crusades.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Like Afghanistan? Like Libya? Like Iraq? Like Syria? Yeah, we’re really making it better…NOT!

          • Hemisphere Samba

            ” if the U.S. is so deplorable, how come everyone flocks here and not to say China or Russia?” 1) To feed at the leftist trough of welfare and special treatment of foreigners OVER Americans (quotas, etc.), and because America is a culture-less territory, up for colonization by any group desiring to do so, it’s FOR SALE.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            You must understand, the U.S.A. is not really a nation, it’s a global commons, like the town’s strip mall.

  • D. Jones

    To heck with the Atlantic, look at the massive aftershocks in Hawaii happening right now:

    Earthquake.usgs gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv70116411

    Somebody in DC needs to pick up the phone now and get ships out of Pearl and planes off the island. That whole side of the big island is unstable and getting ready to slide.

    youtube com/watch?v=uPIx0B9O8Us

    • D. Jones

      Just had an M6.9 quake

      earthquake.usgs gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us1000dyad#executive

      • tiger

        Surfing time.

    • Ed L

      depopulation of hawaii is a good thing

  • scotfahey

    The AVIS Fleet, we’re Number 2 so we try harder? showin’ the age

  • TaskForce141

    re: “The staff will eventually grow to 85 officers, 164 enlisted and seven civilians”
    Yet another fleet without the ships to equip it.
    Another layer of bureaucracy, more paper-pushers, more billets for officers on shore.
    Yet another “command”. We have too many of them. They overlap and do nothing, but “justify” budgets for more staff.

    Meanwhile the Navy proudly displays its expensive procurement disasters:
    Zumwalt DDG-1000, LCS, F-35, Gerald Ford carrier.
    Imagine how many real warships could have been built in place of these mistakes.
    Instead of the three Zumwalts, we would have nine Burke DDG to equip this new fleet.

    • Rocco

      Kudos… Agreed!

    • Donald Carey

      While I agree the LCS looks to be a waste of money, the Ford isn’t a failure. As for the Zum’s, the jury is still out. We may well be very glad to have them when the new power-hungry weapons come on line.

      • tiger

        Time will tell if the Ford class is a success.

      • Secundius

        Acceptance for an Aircraft Catapult System is 99.5%! At the present time, “Ford’s” is only 89.585%. More than 10% Less of the acceptable threshold of acceptance. Until the system is Fixed, the “Ford’s” are 110,000-ton Paperweights…

        • tiger

          89%? I wish my local schools had graduation rates that high.

          • Secundius

            Out of ~4,166 Catapult Launches, ~400 are Failures. And Unacceptable Rate if your Fighting A War…

          • tiger

            We are not refighting Midway with anybody.

          • Secundius

            Considering “Failure” isn’t predictable, consider a Fully Loaded Plane with Maximum Weapons Load “NOT” being launched at Required Take-Off Speed being “Flung” directly into the Sea. Or having your Nose Gear “Ripped-Off” the plane just before launch…

          • tiger

            Well that is why we pay NAVSEA to make EMALS to work.

          • Secundius

            Unfortunately NavSea is deferring to Generally Atonic (i.e. General Atomics) for “Their” Expertise…

          • Just Bill

            I agree with you 100% and very aware that Ford has some serious birthing pains and I spoke up when it was an idea but the Annapolis Boys would not listen to anyone. It is not to late to change this very unwise move to all electric ships and running off gas turbines will never work. I have seen combustion chambers blow up and never finding a cause? This is a job that would be a pain repairing at sea and impossible under battle conditions, and you have to pray that the turbine itself did not ingest any metal as that means the shipyard. Its the same with this rail gun which is honestly one of the goofiest ideas I have heard in my life.

        • Just Bill

          This movement towards electricity running just about every application on ships is actually insane in a battle situation. Some of these ships are pumping out 65 megawatts or more and lose a gas turbine the very complicated switchgear has to work flawlessly and with 44 years experience working with gas turbines switchgear fails about 12-15 percent.
          That means a destroyer dead in the water. Naval brass are making decisions that will doom ships. The scuttlebutt I hear on the Ford is down right scary.

    • Mr. Speaker

      What are the other Fleets without ships?

  • Lab Three

    I worry Adolf Putin & China will strike US before we are ready to deter them.

    • PolicyWonk

      Nothing to loose sleep over – we retain a formidable nuclear deterrent and the ability to deliver it.

      • bob

        I agree, but do we really want to go down the nuclear road that quickly?

        I would prefer, if we are going to play Cold War games, Part 2, then we really need to get off the stick and bolster conventional forces quickly.

        • PolicyWonk

          Russia makes a lot of noise, but the fact remains they’ve been drained of hard currency. This makes it really hard to modernize their forces, no matter how many new weapons they design – if you haven’t got money to build them, the small numbers they do buy won’t be strategically significant. They still have sufficient forces to make a PITA of themselves, and they have to be watched carefully.

          China, OTOH, is a far more difficult problem, and this is particularly bad because we stupidly helped them accelerate their military build up, while profoundly damaging our strategic manufacturing base (and economy!) at the same time. As Patrick Buchanan predicted, by giving away such a staggering quantity of technologies, the manufacturing know-how, and the industrial base, they would immediately start their build up, and then their diplomatic belligerence would reveal itself, as they start settling old scores.

          And thats exactly what happened.

          In the meantime, as the old saying goes: “good fences make good neighbors”. Wasting time in useless/fruitless nation-building exercises in Afghanistan, etc., only distracts us from keeping our eyes on the ball. And building up our conventional forces is increasingly difficult, given lower birth rates, the obesity epidemic, education requirements, and civilian opportunities – and that doesn’t even count budgetary issues.

          • bob

            My only concern with our “friends” in Russia,and based on merely what screeds they release on Russian media, some of them are completely off-the-rails nuts. They believe their own hype and would certainly make a royal PITA just to try and relive the glories of the old Motherland. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the post-Putin era, one of the wack jobs gets in power and decides they need “living room”. Hopefully we have our act together by then and can push the Millennials off the couch or off their phones long enough to notice.

            I concur; China is playing a long game, the results of which are yet to be seen. And we were incredibly stupid just handing off technology. As I pointed out elsewhere in this thread; Nations do not have “friends” they have interests, some of which run counter to ours. A fact of life that seems to get lost in Washington.

            Like it was with Russia, we decided China was our “friend”, opened up our markets, sold them our debt, and handed over our tech. They now own enough of our debt that if they called the note, our economy would crash. Really dumb.

            Afghanistan etc, is something that we need to deal with, but not at the expense of the rest of the places where we have interests. And I agree, we have painted ourselves into a corner. Time will tell if we can get out of it.

          • Duane

            China cannot “call our debt”. When anyone buys a US Treasury note, they are bound by its redemption rules. The US government does not borrow money from banks, and 100% of the lender’s security is the good faith and credit of the world’s largest and most stable nation, with the world’s stongest protections of private property rights, all protected by the world’s most powerful military force, by far.

        • ShermansWar

          you do when your airforce doesnt work and your navy has no ASM capability beyond it’s carriers.

          • Duane

            Our Air Force works far better than any other on the planet. I have no freaking idea what you’re talking about on ASMs. We’ve built and deployed thousands of Harpoons which are fired from both warships and any of our attack aircraft .. and LRASM, the world’s most advanced long range heavy warhead ASCM, just went IOC and will shortly start deploying on both aircraft and our warships … and we are upgrading many of our thousands of long range heavy warhead Tomahawks with new multi-mode targeting kits to enable them to hit moving targets including ships.

      • Lab Three

        Yes, I know that (M.A.D.) theroy.
        My Dad was a USN base commander.
        Deterrent will not work with nations such as Russia & China.
        They are both in a crazed state of fanatic nationalism.
        This insanity has been growing far worse over the years.
        You & loved ones should stay far away from Primary & Secondary targets (bases and airports).
        Also avoid downwind of the “Six Pack” states. They are also a big no no.
        I do appreciate your optimism.
        That’s why I’m warning you.
        I know way more stuff than I’m telling you.
        NNNN

      • ShermansWar

        Well I’m glad we can sleep well, having only to worry about nuclear war.

        • PolicyWonk

          Just like the good old days of the Cold War! Only now – there’s terrorism and remarkably bad leadership.

          🙁

        • Hemisphere Samba

          Maybe if we’d worry about our own business and not playing school marm for the rest of the world, we wouldn’t be so hated.

          • tiger

            They said that in 1918 too.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            You mean when Wilson inserted America into WWI after pledging to keep us out of a war that had NO AMERICAN INTERESTS whatsoever. That supreme act of stupidity swayed the outcome of WWI and allowed an unjust peace to be set up against Germany, that lead to WWII. Yes, American warmongering was the cause of WWII.

          • tiger

            Sinking US ships and sailors makes the war our problem. As does Germany trying to start stuff with Mexico.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Wrong on both accounts. First, the Lusitania was ILLEGALLY carrying ammunition just as the Germans claimed. This has been proven by exploration of the wreckage. Think how MONSTROUS a nation would be to send it’s citizens on a ship carrying war ammunition!!! Second, the deal with Mexico was for IF America entered the war. It was a common sense agreement. Try again.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Germany made a common sense offer to Mexico to aid them IF America attacked Germany. And ships carrying weapons are legal targets. The Lusitania was carrying weapons. The U.S. allowed innocent civilians to travel on a ship carrying war goods. Think about that.

          • tiger

            US ships were Neutral. The Germans were going back to unrestricted Sub warfare. Sinking ships with no warning.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Wrong again. A 3rd party ship ship supporting an enemy belligerent is a legal target. Moreover, it is ILLEGAL and DISHONEST to hide war ammo on a liner carrying innocent passengers, as the Lusitania WAS PROVEN TO HAVE BEEN DOING. Try again.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Ships carrying ammo (and unknowing civilians) are not neutral. Try again.

          • tiger

            You seem hung up on cargo? You have to stop and board to determine cargo. That was the issue. Subs were sinking ships on sight with no warning. Arms or not.

          • Secundius

            Not exactly, it’s also listed on a Shipping Manifest prior to the Ship leaving the Harbor. All Ship Shipping Companies are required to Produce one for Insurance Purposes (i.e. Lloyds of London)…

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Not during time of war. But you are deflecting. Why was the U.S. knowingly allowing civilian passengers to embark on a ship carrying ammunition? Think about the depravity involved in that, beside the major violations of international law and honor.

    • Hemisphere Samba

      Why would they do that? What makes you think they would?

  • One more new Vice Admiral, or maybe take from Fleet Forces Command.

  • Kypros

    If the ASW mission module comes to fruition, maybe the Freedom class LCS will have the mission of safeguarding the east coast.

    • Hemisphere Samba

      From what? ICBMs don’t have to be launched from the East Coast. Are the Russians or ISIS going to do an amphibious assault? Jezuz H.Christ you people are dumb.

      • Kypros

        Speaking in the context of this story and the reason to form the 2nd fleet. How old are you, like eleven? Does mommy know you’re on her computer?

        • Hemisphere Samba

          Yes, Mom knows. I just asked as simple question. If you can’t answer, just say so.

          • Kypros

            Simple question, but stating that everyone here is dumb because the USN is re-establishing a new fleet ruins the vibe. Mommy would not approve.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Establishing 2nd Fleet makes sense from the command and control perspective, but Russia is not a threat, as much as Neocons and the MIC would like them to be.

          • James Bowen

            I wouldn’t go as far as to say the Russians aren’t a threat. The potential threat posed by a huge country with one of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals needs to be taken seriously. However, I agree with your general sentiment. Russia and the U.S. have no conflicting interests that are truly vital to us; and if we were to divest ourselves of involvement in Central Asia and Syria, not press our presence too much in the Baltic and Black Seas and Eastern Europe, and most especially remove ourselves from involvement in Ukrainian affairs, I don’t think Russia would give two craps about what we do elsewhere.

          • Kypros

            I think as long as Putin is around, Russia will actively try to undermine US efforts anywhere in the world.

          • James Bowen

            Why? What do they have to gain from that? When it comes to foreign policy, Putin is a ruthless pragmatist and typically does not waste his time and effort on something that is of no relevance to Russia.

          • Kypros

            I cannot think of a US area of interest which Putin does not attempt to undermine US policy. Same with western Europe.

          • James Bowen

            I am not aware of Putin doing anything to undermine U.S. relations and activities in Latin America, Africa, or even the Western Pacific. He is most interested Ukraine, Central Asia is probably his next highest priority, followed by Eastern Europe and parts of the Middle East. I really can’t think of any vital interests we have in those areas. Ukraine is absolutely vital to Russia but inconsequential to the U.S. The Middle East and Central Asia have been nothing but a hemorrhage of American lives and money that have gotten us nothing in return. If Putin wants to run the show in those parts of the world, I say he can have it. Eastern Europe is perhaps a little more important since it is in our interests to have a peaceful and integrated Europe that is allied with us, but I see no need to actually deploy U.S. forces there. Let Europeans take some responsibility for their own defense and security.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            I agree. But you must understand that good relations with Russia, like Trump ran on, would mean no need for NATO and hit the MIC hard. All this “Russia collusion” fraud was perpetrated not to defeat Trump, but to ensure Trump could never make good on his promise of good relations with Russia. Our only enemy is within.

          • Kypros

            Russia’s ability to be a threat is reduced compared to the Cold War days. Which is why I said it might be a good mission for an ASW MM equipped LCSs to be tasked with.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Russia has not desire to fight the U.S. or NATO. Russia is not the enemy. Our enemy is within, and our enemy tries desperately to deflect attention to Russia, Iran, China, etc.

      • tiger

        They are going to parachute in to Mid America like in RED DAWN. Lol.

        • Hemisphere Samba

          Yeah! LOL So another fleet’s going to be essential. I can’t believe the idiocy of this thread!

  • Jon

    No more ships or sailors, but more senior officer slots. I’m sure the Russian’s are terrified.

    Is that an iceberg dead ahead? Let’s re-arrange the deck chairs!

    • Lazarus

      It imeans perhaps a return to the Strike Fleet of the 1980’s. The Russians should be afraid. They have attracted the wrong kind of attention.

      • Hemisphere Samba

        Why would Russia be afraid? The next war with Russia will be nuclear and affect the U.S. homeland. I suggest you cool off the warmongering, Mr. Leftist Neocon.

        • Lab Three

          We all need to take a timeout here. And have a big long laugh at the retarded russian troll.

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Then please explain exactly what America should fear from Russia? How is Russia an enemy of America? Because they refuse to bend the knee and become a vassal state a la France, Britain, Germany, etc?

      • Jon

        In the 1980s we had almost 600 ships. Today, we’ve got more Admirals than ships, and “Strike Fleet” is a obsolete computer game no one but us geeks remembers. Pardon me, if I’m not impressed by the creation of yet more Admiral/senior officer billets, that doesn’t have any actual additional resources. They can sit in their offices touching themselves and playing “Strike Fleet” on their desktop to while away the time till retirement. I’ll send them a copy.

  • Lazarus

    This is not a paper command without a mission. The Navy is starting to shake off the peacetime mindset of the last 25 years and that is good. Hank Mustin would heartily approve I think.

    • bob

      I don’t think it was much of a peacetime mindset as it was a shift in warfighting doctrine. We were hunting terrorists, biggest seaborne threats from those guys were from small boats packed with explosives. We assumed that there would never be another First-World, Blue water Naval adversary. The next Iranian Navy Command would have to buy glass bottomed ships to see their old predecessors if the entire current Iranian Republican Guard Navy were stupid enough to try and take on one of our surface combatants. (I would make a snarky comment about the Zumwalt here,but that would just be mean, and she’d break down in a fit of pique)

      Now Russia wants to play games again, so we need to up our game. Unfortunately we are kind of behind the curve on this one.

      • Lazarus

        Yes, agree bombing terrorists in the Middle East is a kind of war fighting, but does not involve the rest of the fleet beyond the air guys and unopposed cruise missle strikes. Second Fleet was once prepared to bring all fleet combat power against Soviet forces at sea and later against the Kola inlet.

    • Hemisphere Samba

      Where’s the war, Mr. Leftist Neocon? ANSWER: The war is where America brings it.

    • PolicyWonk

      I hope you’re right – but I’m not impressed with words: it’s ACTION that count.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      I wonder if the operation and training for the new fleet will be ASW focused, the USN needs to get back in the open water ASW game, our surface forces are woefully unprepared to protect against peer SSK/SSNs and our SSNs are only marginally better prepared (As much as I like the SSGN/VPM capability it reflects the same ashore focused mission that gave us the Zumwalt & LCS programs).
      Despite the increased capability and deployment rate of Russian subs they are far from being a real threat to USN dominance in the Atlantic, but that advantage isn’t eternal and the lessons we learn in retraining the fleet here can be leveraged to forces potentially facing peer threats in the western Pacific.

  • Ed L

    Back to the old digs on Ingersol St and Mitscher Ave I reckon. did two tours there when I wasn’t on sea duty

  • Curtis Conway

    I wonder what we are going to call the fleet when we move into space?

    • bob

      As much as I would like us to adhere to historical, cultural precedent (Star Trek et al), I suspect our friends and colleagues in that vaunted and venerable institution, the Chair, err oops! I meant “Air” Force will probably insist on the Space “Fleet” being organized along their lines.

      What I wonder is how will they be able to fly in space, you know with it being cold and dark out. Probably rough living quarters too, no fresh surf and turf at the O Club!! Egads!!

      🙂

      • Curtis Conway

        One would think the nature of the environment would dictate organizations that deal is similar activities. Space is like being at sea with some obvious additional risks that increase one’s required education level, attention to detail, reliability and ingenuity. Similar to the original Mercury Astronauts, the United States Space Force will require individuals with skill sets from all services who pass the screening for the required level of understanding of the environment, and can function in it successfully. Not everyone can go there, nor should they be required to, but for those who can, they will be pure gold. Flying is predominantly an artform. Functioning in space will be pure science, surrounded by modern art. New technologies and AI and electro/mechanical assistance will be required. Unfortunately, the average American public school isn’t even beginning to live up to the foundational skill requirements to begin this intelectual trip. The United States spends more money per capita student than almost any country on earth, and our students are NOT commensurately increasing in knowledge and retention. I blame that squarely on the practitioners who take the money, want more, and provide less success (academics). We should eliminate the federal Department of Education and block grant that money back to the state and local governments, and take that inefficiency out of the equation, for that is ALL that it really is . . . and inefficient layer that reduces possibilities, but provides more layers from which to extract treasure form the process. One day the LEECHES will win.

        • bob

          I was attempting insert a bit of humor in there at the expense of our Air Force colleagues. Apparently, I missed the mark. My apologies.

          • Curtis Conway

            LOL! Did you see the uniform they came up with ? . . Imperial Commander Tarkin would be Proud, and the boys & girls on the flightline would have to look like stormtroopers.

          • bob

            My question: If the kid goes to the Space Force Academy, does that make them a “Space Cadet”?

            (Tragically, I can say I served under some who I think went to the Space Academy! “Sir, turn to Port…Sir, PORT!!….NO, GO LEFT DAMNIT!!!”)

          • MDK187

            “boys & girls” – and what about all the rest of them fine human beings anywhere in between and beyond, you darn social regressive..?!

    • MDK187

      You keep returning to that idea as though it had the slightest chance of happening. Back in the 40s, 50s or 60s, they could build revolutionary stuff, from concept to working hardware, inside of 4-5 years. Now? A fuvking evolutionary upgrade takes twice that long, regardless of which Service is doing it. Everybody’s dreaming wild schit all the time, they just can’t even keep the basics straight for two weeks.

  • jack anderson

    not enough for the admirals to do, way too much for our ships.

    • James Bowen

      That’s what happens when we have more admirals than ships.

      • jack anderson

        did you know that BUSHIPS had 400 people in 1944 while delivering hundreds of ships per year and that today NAVSEA has over 20,000 to make under a dozen? It’s not just admirals we have too many of.

        • James Bowen

          Yes, unfortunately, all too true.

        • Secundius

          Ahhh, Kaiser Shipyards in WWII had ~97,000 Shipworkers in 1942 and produced nearly 5,770 ships by 1945. By running 24/7/365. Shipyards of today in 2018, “Don’t” run 24/7/365…

          • jack anderson

            they make money, not ships! The USS Chicago, a major heavy cruiser of 17,000 tons went from keel laying to launch in a year with commission a year after that, how long does it take us today?

          • Secundius

            And when was the last time the United States fought a World War II type War?/! Even Korea and Vietnam weren’t any more Intensive then the First and Second Gulf Wars…

          • jack anderson

            there is nothing as an expensive waste as a standing military in peacetime, nor as desperately needed in time of war, would the “Arsenal of Democracy” have the time and the will to do again what won WWII in WWIII?

          • Secundius

            The last time the United States had a Draft was in 1973. And the US Military goes through approximately 1.5-Billion Rounds of Small Arms Ammunition per year, just in Training…

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    Did not two Russian Akulas sail into and around the Gulf of Mexico for over a month in both like 2012 and 2015? I would say we need all the home protection we can get.

    That brings me an interesting thought — those who know about this sort of thing — back in the day when we had lots more military maneuvering and of course, lots more “stuff” (ships, subs, etc) – did we ever have our own submarines in the Gulf of Mexico? On patrol or guard duty or loitering or anything like that? Just curious. Thanks as always

    • Hemisphere Samba

      The Gulf of Mexico is mostly international waters. If we’re going to pout about foreign navies operating in it, then we need to bring our azzes home from the Persian Gulf, Baltic, South China Sea, etc.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        I realize you probably forgot this, but, we’re The United States of AMERICA. F’k Yeah! We can and will sail all over the world wherever we want and ain’t nobody gonna do Monterey Jack cheddar about it. That’s how we roll, son!

        • Hemisphere Samba

          Yes, as well as any other nation does–in international waters. So what? How’s that a threat?

        • tiger

          Well…. It’s not cool to give MIGS the finger, ala Top Gun anymore. We trying to dial back on the bleep the World approach of diplomatic relations.

      • Ciara

        The US has never been afraid of a little hypocrisy when it comes to foreign relations.

        • Hemisphere Samba

          True, and hypocrisy can be useful for those who pay attention and notice it–it can be used to “triangulate” real motive.

    • tiger

      Lately the USN has been the busy bodies sending sub’s & ships in to their turf. If they wish to put to sea, it is a free Ocean.

  • Brian_pdx

    The US has a dozen aircraft carriers and spends more on defense than the next 12 countries COMBINED. Russia’s aircraft carrier has to be followed by a tugboat to tow the carrier when it breaks down and no other country has more than two carriers. Trumpster and the GOP increasing the military budget so much is just another license to steal. Pull the troops out of Afghanistan, Iraq and other unnecessary wars and put the money into infrastructure, education and the creation of great jobs, not fast food jobs.

    • tiger

      At last check shipbuilding was a great job.

      • Brian_pdx

        So is bridge building, road building, factory building . . . And they generate money rather than just consume it. Economic development 101.

    • Carney3

      That talking point about our spending more than X other other countries combined, therefore we are warmongering bullies, is bunk.

      First, our allies drastically and irresponsibly under spend. The ratio would be far smaller if they pulled their weight not even as allies but solely as serious states able to defend their own interests and territory.

      Second, adversary / threat powers drastically understate their military spending for disinformation and propaganda purposes in large part precisely to get people like you to say what you said. They are authoritarian opaque regimes with no free press or real opposition to demand and get transparent open budgets.

      Third, any global hegemon is inherently going to spend more than other powers overall, but being spread out worldwide means that a concentrated enemy can threaten or even overmatch the hegemon in a local theater. That makes such overall comparisons misleading.

      • Brian_pdx

        Warmongering bullies is not included in my narrative you ignorant fool. The GOP is enriching its donors by allowing them to steal billions, trillions really, in tax money by overcharging on defense contracts. Everything you have said in your post is complete bullshit. It is appropriate to evaluate “competition” by looking at their expenditures in the same area we are competing. You are either a Russian or GOP troll or bot and seriously don’t know a f’ing thing about defense or public finance.

        • Carney3

          Everything in my post is BS? Everything?

          So our allies are ALL living up to the 2% standard of military spending? They’re all fully pulling their weight, not remotely drafting behind us and letting us do the heavy lifting?

          China and Russia are totally transparent, open societies with robust NGOs, opposition parties, and skeptical media? Their budget figures are totally trustworthy with no dezinformatsia, no Deng-style “hide our strength, bide our time”?

          And a global hegemon is NOT vulnerable to a near-peer competitor that is concentrated in a local area?

          Which specific claim are you making here?

          • Secundius

            In the case for Germany, Germany “Didn’t” write their Post WWII Constitution. The Six Western Allied Countries did! The Benelux Union (i.e. Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), France, Great Britain and the United States. Which put Germany “Out Off the War Fighting Business” and Dictates How Much in GDP can be used for Self Defense and the Size of their Military…

  • tiger

    So the Navy rediscovering the Atlantic Ocean matters? That’s nice.

    • Ed L

      Second Fleet’s historic area of responsibility included approximately 6,700,000 square miles (17,000,000 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. During its previous existence, Second Fleet was responsible for training and certifying Atlantic Fleet units for forward deployment to other numbered fleets. Now the Fourth Fleet is a United States Navy command operating the Navy component command of U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM). The Fourth Fleet currently is headquartered on Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida and is responsible for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans around Central and South Atlantic waters

  • LowObservable

    What ships are they looking to bring into the 2nd Fleet? (Future FFX/Frigate? LCS?)

  • Fleet Forces will stay. Read.

  • Hemisphere Samba

    Where’s the threat? This is nothing but another sump for tax payer dollars. Is 19 BILLION and 800 bases not enough for the empire?

    • Lab Three

      Who’s “empire” are you working for Russian Troll?

      • Hemisphere Samba

        The U.S. Empire, dolt.

    • Secundius

      Not including the Pentagon! Approximately 199 World Wide. The “800” figure in based on a Guesstimate by the New Group “The National Interest”…

      • Hemisphere Samba

        Whatever, we spend FAR TOO MUCH on “defense” which doesn’t ever DEFEND the U.S..

        • Secundius

          The reason the US Military does it, is to prevent another “Pearl Harbor” and the “Philippines” type of War. And with Modern Weapons involved, the United States “Doesn’t” have the Luxury of waiting 6-months to Recover from our Past Mistakes…

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Maybe if the U.S. wasn’t using its currency to terrorize via sanctions we wouldn’t need to. Modern sanctions is what seige warfare was in the old days. Pretending it’s something different is baloney. Pearl Harbor would not have happened had the U.S. not try to starve Japan of fuel.

          • Secundius

            Just exactly how was the United States STARVING Imperial Japan before 1942. The Imperial Japanese Navy consisted of ~645 ships, while the United States Combined Atlantic and Pacific Fleet was only ~352 ships…

          • Hemisphere Samba

            Sanctions, that’s how. The same way the U.S. now sanctions any nation who won’t bend the knee to U.S. whims.

          • Secundius

            The US Navy currently has ~283 ships on Active Deployment, while the RuFed Navy is ~299 strong. And Putin is enable to Challenge the USN in Blockading Merchant Vessels going to Russian Ports. Is Maintenance in the Russian Navy “So Bad” that the Russian Navy is Incapable for performing “IT’S” Job. Escorting Merchant Shipping to Russian Ports…

  • Hemisphere Samba

    Yet all the Navy in the world cannot secure our own border, which is flagrantly violated as it was just this weekend..yet again.

    • Lab Three

      Go back to mother russia – really dumb troll.
      Tell your Adolf Putin just ONE US warhead takes backwards moscow off the map.
      You insane idiots really think you can stop them all?

      • Hemisphere Samba

        What are you babbling about? Why do you hate the idea that America has borders and that those borders should be protected?

        • Secundius

          First recorded case of Smuggling into the United States was in 1801, and that’s when the Border with Mexico was the Mississippi River. First case of Drug Smuggling into the United States was in 1870, and the United States “Itself” was the Drug Buyer…

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    Here we go again. I knew when Clinton slammed the forces because of the idiotic Peace Dividend, it would catch up with us. Then, despite being a hawk, I was opposed to all our Middle East crap.

    Will we ever learn?

  • Bryan

    At a time when the Navy is top heavy we make it more so. Why? Well I’m reading what they say, but ultimately it’s because when ships in the Med are shorthanded, we need an admiral to remove even more sailors from those ships and put them in Norfolk. Why? Well the Soviets…er… I mean the Russians of course. Don’t worry, if the ships in the Med actually have accidents we will just court martial the SOB Captains. I mean come on their just Captains. It’s not like they are actually important to American security.

    I’m thinking America=Rome. Teach your children a second language. They are going to need it. Perhaps Mandarin is in order.

    Dear Navy top brass….you’re a bunch of Adam Henry’s. May you live a long life.

  • Philip Fortnam

    The BRAC decision to shutter NAS Brunswick in spite of the Navy’s recommendation to mothball it has come full circle. What are the chances the Navy will put a DET at Otis AFB/Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod?

    • tiger

      Not till you bring back my NAS Willow Grove.

      • Secundius

        “Willow Grove NAS” is still operational, but as a Predator B Drone Training Station…

        • tiger

          The Navy & the P Bird are all gone to Lakehurst in NJ. And the PA ANG is not quite as cool with out the A-10s.

  • James Bowen

    At present, the Navy has more flag commands and commitments to joint commands than it has ships and aircraft to give them any meaningful depth of fighting power. Unless the Navy gets a big expansion in the next few years, this will be nothing more than another layer of bureaucracy to smother existing forces.

  • @USS_Fallujah

    With 2nd fleet stood up we’ll probably continue to increase our presence in Reykjavik. Now where to I apply for an Iceland attaché slot…

    • Secundius

      I suspect it depends on what actual physical assets are in place in Iceland, and go from there…