US Navy: Restarting 2nd Fleet, Preparing for Battle

 In Military

The US Navy’s 2nd Fleet was reactivated on July 1, 2018. The fleet was deactivated in 2011 to make room for acquisitions. Now it’s back again due to the threat of Chinese ships and Russian submarines in the North Atlantic…from the US East Coast all the way to the Mediterranean. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson will preside over the 2nd Fleet startup ceremony on August 24, and  he was there to oversee Vice Adm. Charles A. Richard’s elevation to Commander of US Submarine Forces on August 3.

NATO has been wary of Russian Submarines lurking around the North Atlantic for some time. They are concerned that the Russians might tap into or cut the intercontinental communication lines at the bottom of the ocean. To combat this threat, Vice Admiral Charles Richard is tasked with maintaining US superiority over all foreign submarine forces. And he told them to prepare for battle:

“We are back in a world in the midst of major power competition. In that competition, our strength undersea is a key advantage that we have. That will not change on my watch. With so much at stake, we cannot let up and must execute our mission with a continued sense of urgency…To the men and women of the submarine force, prepare for battle.
It is only by being prepared for battle that we can hope to avoid it. If we cannot, our nation expects and demands victory. We shall not fail.” Vice Adm Charles Richard, Commander, COMSUBFOR

That “major power competition” is something Secretary of Defense is concerned about, and why he has re-tasked US forces toward that direction rather than only terrorism. The 2nd Fleet is tasked with “securing” the ocean on our East Coast. The 2nd Fleet Commander will also head NATO’s Joint Forces Command Norfolk.

The “uptick” in Russian submarine activity, and Chinese military vessels in the Atlantic could pose a very real threat.

“Even five years ago, we wouldn’t have seen anything like this…We’re talking about more (activity) than we’ve seen in 25 years.” Admiral Richardson told VOA in an exclusive interview.


Featured Photo:
ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 15, 2018) The guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) transits the Atlantic Ocean. Farragut is deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cameron M. Stoner/Released)

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