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Second Fleet
Fleet-2.gif
Second Fleet emblem
Active February 1950–Present
Country United States of America
Branch United States Navy
Type Fleet
Part of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTCOM)
Garrison/HQ Naval Station Norfolk, VA
Commanders
Current
commander
Vice Admiral Melvin G. Williams

The U.S. Second Fleet is one of six numbered fleets in the United States Navy. Second Fleet's area of responsibility includes approximately 38 million square miles of the Atlantic Ocean from the North Pole to the South Pole and from the shores of the United States to the west coast of Europe.

The Second Fleet also used to operate along the Atlantic coast of South America and part of the west coast of Central America.[1] However, the Navy re-established the United States Fourth Fleet, based at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida on 1 July 2008. Fourth Fleet is responsible for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean, and Central and South America.[2]

Contents

History

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1947-present

The U.S. Second Fleet traces its origin to the reorganization of the Navy following World War II in December 1945 and the formation of the United States Eighth Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher. In January 1947, Eighth Fleet was renamed Second Task Fleet. Three years later, in February 1950, the command was redesignated U.S. Second Fleet.

In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy called on Second Fleet to establish quarantine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. For more than a month, Second Fleet units operated northeast of the island, intercepting and inspecting dozens of ships for contraband. Some twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan ordered the Second Fleet to the Caribbean again, but this time to lead the invasion of Grenada during Operation Urgent Fury. Leading joint forces, COMSECONDFLT became Commander, Joint Task Force 120 (CJTF 120), and commanded units from the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the second fleet trained more than half of the Navy ships deployed to Southwest Asia.[3]

Until 2005, COMSECONDFLT had a permanent assignment with NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic's (SACLANT) chain-of-command, as the Commander Striking Fleet Atlantic (COMSTRIKFLTLANT). COMSTRIKFLTLANT commanded a multinational force whose primary mission was to deter aggression, and protects NATO's Atlantic interests. Establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in the Atlantic, COMSTRIKFLTLANT was tasked to ensure the integrity of NATO's sea-lines-of-communication. Countries contributing included Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. On 22 February 2005/24 June 2005, with the establishment of Allied Command Transformation, and in the total absence of the Soviet threat that had prompted its creation, the Striking Fleet Atlantic nucleus was disbanded.[4] It was replaced in 2006 by the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea/Center of Excellence.

Current Operations

The Commander, Second Fleet (COMSECONDFLT), under the Commander, US Fleet Forces Command (CUSFFC), plans for, and when directed, conducts battle force operations in the Atlantic command in support of designated unified or allied commanders. The Commander, Second Fleet directs movements and exercises operational control of USFFC assigned units to carry out scheduled ocean transits and other special operations as directed by in order to maximize fleet operational readiness to respond to contingencies in the Atlantic command area of operations. The Commander, Second Fleet also plans fleet intertype training exercises and participates in joint and combined exercises as directed.

In times of crises and during certain exercises, Second Fleet becomes the Commander, Joint Task Force (120), one of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Joint Forces Command's joint commanders in the Atlantic theater. This joint task force consists of elements of the Atlantic Fleet, U.S. Army quick reaction airborne and air assault units, U.S. Air Force aircraft and support personnel, U.S. Marine Corps amphibious forces, and at times, designated units of the United States Coast Guard. When activated, Joint Task Force 120 is tasked to execute a variety of contingency missions throughout the Joint Forces Command's area of responsibility. Second Fleet could also be ordered under certain contingencies in the Caribbean theater of operations to control similarly constructed forces as Joint Task Force 140.

Subordinate Task Forces

Task Force Name Task Force Type
Task Force 20
Battle Force
CTF-21
Patrol Reconnaissance Force
CTF-22
Amphibious Force
CTF-23
Landing Force
CTF-24
ASW Force
CTF-25
Logistics Support Force
CTF-26
Patrol Air Force
CTF-28
Caribbean Contingency Force

References

  1. ^ "Global Security.org Second Fleet". http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/c2f.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-10.  
  2. ^ Navy Re-Establishes U.S. Fourth Fleet
  3. ^ "United States Second Fleet (Official Website)". http://www.secondfleet.navy.mil/files/history/history.html. Retrieved 10 December 2006.  
  4. ^ Second Fleet, History, accessed March 2009, and http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2005/06/mil-050623-nns02.htm

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