US resume the Second fleet amid tensions with Russian Federation

Arturo Kim
May 6, 2018

The US Navy (USN) will re-establish its Second Fleet to conduct maritime operations in the North Atlantic, in a move that could be interpreted as meant to counter Russian naval movements. Navy said Friday it will re-establish its Second Fleet in Norfolk this summer to focus on high-end warfare in the Atlantic Ocean.

The decision reflects escalating worries across Europe and within NATO over Russia's increased military presence and patrols in the Atlantic region.

The naval forces of the United States of America regained the Second fleet, nearly seven years after its disbandment at the time, as a Pentagon in the center of its military strategy puts the opposition of Russian Federation.

The change of command ceremony was held aboard USS George H.W. Bush.

Navy officials had previously recommended reactivating the fleet as part of broader force structure reviews following last year's deadly row of collisions among ships at the Japan-based 7th Fleet.

The decision to reactivate the 2nd Fleet followed increasing threats in the Atlantic from Russian Federation, officials familiar with the decision told USNI News.

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In presenting the new strategy, which will set priorities for the Pentagon for years to come, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called China and Russian Federation "revisionist powers" that "seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and U.S. officials have said that Russian submarine activity is at its highest levels since the Cold War.

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

2nd Fleet's reactivation will free up the Navy's Fleet Forces for its original mission to train and provide forces to commanders worldwide.

In a separate announcement Friday, the Pentagon said it proposed a NATO Joint Force Command for the Atlantic in Norfolk.

But relations have instead soured over allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, Russia's alleged poisoning of a former double agent in Britain and Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government in Syria. The command had been responsible for the North Atlantic Ocean before it was deactivated in 2011.

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