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United States Naval Forces Central Command is the United States Navy element of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). Its area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea. It consists of the United States Fifth Fleet and several other subordinate task forces, including Combined Task Force 150, Combined Task Force 158 and others.

The command was established on 1 January 1983 along with the rest of Central Command, and initially command of NAVCENT was given to a flag officer selectee based at Pearl Harbor and tasked with coordinating administrative and logistical support for U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf. Commander, Middle East Force, retained operational control of forces in the Persian Gulf and effectively served as CENTCOM's naval component commander.[1]

The Navy's post-World War II operations in the Persian Gulf began in 1948 when a series of U.S. task groups, led by the USS Valley Forge (CV-45), the USS Rendova (CVE-114), and Task Force 128 led by the USS Ponaco (AGS-16) visited the Persian Gulf.[2] On 20 January 1948, Commander-in-Chief, Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, Admiral Conolly, created Task Force 126 to supervise the large number of Navy fleet oilers and chartered tankers picking up oil in the Persian Gulf. By June 1949, the Task Force had become Persian Gulf Forces and on 16 August 1949 Persian Gulf Forces became Middle East Force.

In October 1948, Hydrographic Survey Group 1 arrived to help map the Persian Gulf's waters. Consisting of USS Maury, USS Dutton, USS John Blish, and USS Littlehales, the Group remained in the Persian Gulf until April 1949, but their efforts were limited by weather, logistics support and upkeep.

Following the initial establishment of Central Command the boundary between CENTCOM and PACOM was the Strait of Hormuz. To direct forces of multiple services operating over the boundary, Joint Task Force Middle East was established on 20 September 1987. It was soon obvious that JTF-ME and the Middle East Force were directing much the same operations, and a single double-hatted commander was appointed by February 1988. Naval Forces Central Command took part in Operation Earnest Will in 1986-7 and support Army special operations helicopters conducting Operation Prime Chance. Operation Praying Mantis followed later.

References

  1. ^ Winkler, p.86
  2. ^ These two paragraphs are based on David F. Winkler, 'Admirals, Amirs, and Desert Sailors,' Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2007, p.21-25

Further reading

  • W. Seth Carus, Barry McCoy, and John R. Hafey, From MIDEASTFOR to Fifth Fleet: Forward Naval Presence in Southwest Asia, Alexandria, VA, Center for Naval Analyses, 1995
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U.S. Naval Forces Central Command is the naval element of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). Its area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea. It consists of the United States 5th Fleet and several other subordinate task forces, including Combined Task Force 150, Combined Task Force 158 and others. The command was established on 1 January 1983 along with the rest of Central Command, and initially command of NAVCENT was given to a flag officer selectee, based at Pearl Harbor, tasked to coordinate administrative and logistical support for U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf. Commander, Middle East Force, retained operational control of forces in the Persian Gulf and effectively served as CENTCOM's naval component commander.[1]

U.S. Naval operations in the Persian Gulf

The U.S. Navy's post World War II operations in the Persian Gulf began in 1948 when a series of U.S. task groups, led by the USS Valley Forge (CV-45), the USS Rendova (CVE-114), and Task Force 128 led by the USS Ponaco (AGS-16) visited the Persian Gulf.[2] On 20 January 1948, Commander-in-Chief, Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, Admiral Conolly, created Task Force 126 to supervise the large number of Navy fleet oilers and chartered tankers picking up oil in the Persian Gulf. By June 1949, the Task Force had become Persian Gulf Forces and on 16 August 1949 Persian Gulf Forces became Middle East Force.

In October 1948, Hydrographic Survey Group 1 arrived to help map the Persian Gulf's waters. Consisting of USS Maury, USS Dutton, USS John Blish, and USS Littlehales, the Group remained in the Persian Gulf until April 1949, but their efforts were limited by weather, logistics support and upkeep.

Following the initial establishment of Central Command the boundary between CENTCOM and PACOM was the Strait of Hormuz. To direct forces of multiple services operating over the boundary, Joint Task Force Middle East was established on 20 September 1987. It was soon obvious that JTF-ME and the Middle East Force were directing much the same operations, and a single double-hatted commander was appointed by February 1988. Naval Forces Central Command took part in Operation Earnest Will in 1986-7 and support Army special operations helicopters conducting Operation Prime Chance. Operation Preying Mantis followed later.

References

  1. Winkler, p.86
  2. These two paragraphs are based on David F. Winkler, 'Admirals, Amirs, and Desert Sailors,' Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2007, p.21-25

Further reading

  • W. Seth Carus, Barry McCoy, and John R. Hafey, From MIDEASTFOR to Fifth Fleet: Forward Naval Presence in Southwest Asia, Alexandria, VA, Center for Naval Analyses, 1995

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