United States Second Fleet
Second Fleet Active February 1950–30 September 2011 Country United States of America Branch United States Navy Type Fleet Role Combat & Maritime Operations, Security Cooperation Activities, and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response Part of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTCOM) Garrison/HQ Naval Station Norfolk, VA
United States Second Fleet was a numbered fleet in the United States Navy from 1950 until its disestablishment in September 2011. Second Fleet's 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. Second Fleets West Coast counterpart is United States Third Fleet.
- 1 Missions
- 2 Subordinate Task Forces
- 3 History and significant events
- 4 Disestablishment
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Prior to disestablishment, Second Fleet oversaw approximately 126 ships, 4500 aircraft, and 90,000 personnel homeported at U.S. Navy installations along the East Coast.
Commander Task Force 20
The Commander, Second Fleet (COMSECONDFLT), under the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (CUSFFC), was also designated as Commander, Task Force 20. CTF-20 planed for, and when directed, conducted battle force operations in the Atlantic command in support of designated unified or allied commanders. CTF-20 directed movements and exercised operational control of USFFC assigned units to carry out scheduled ocean transits and other special operations as directed, in order to maximize fleet operational readiness to respond to contingencies in the Atlantic command area of operations. In order to command and control its forces, CTF-20 maintained a Joint Maritime Operations Center at its Maritime Headquarters, which was officially said to offer a new approach to command and control for fleet commanders.
During its existence, Second Fleet was responsible for training and certifying Atlantic Fleet units for forward deployment to other numbered fleets, primarily U.S. Fourth Fleet, U.S. Fifth Fleet, and U.S. Sixth Fleet. Second Fleet’s main training and certification venues were the Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMTUEX) and Joint Training Fleet Exercise (JTFEX), conducted off the eastern U.S. coast from Virginia to Florida. These exercises served as a ready-for-deployment certification events for Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Ready Groups, as well as independently deploying units.
Joint Task Force 120
In times of crisis and during certain exercises, Second Fleet became the Commander, Joint Task Force 120. 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.
Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Center of Excellence
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 to protect NATO's Atlantic interests. Establishing and maintaining maritime superiority in the Atlantic, COMSTRIKFLTLANT was tasked with ensuring the integrity of NATO's lines-of-communication at sea. 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. It was replaced in 2006 by the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Center of Excellence.
Subordinate Task Forces
As CTF-20, Second Fleet oversaw several subordinate task forces, which were activated as needed.
Task Force Name Task Force Type Task Force 20 Battle Force CTF-21 Patrol Reconnaissance Force CTF-22 Amphibious Force CTF-23 Logistics CTF-24 ASW Force CTF-25 Mine Warfare CTF-26 Expeditionary CTF-27 Surface Warfare CTF-28 Commander Strike Force Training Atlantic CTF-29 Land
Additionally, Commander, Second Fleet was the immediate superior to a number of Carrier Strike Groups, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Commander Strike Force Training Atlantic, as well as the Standing Navy Command Element (COMSTANDNAV CE), a deployable command element that has served multiple rotations as the headquarters of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
History and significant events
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. Second Fleet’s area of responsibility included the Atlantic coast of South America and part of the west coast of Central America.
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. Major exercises the fleet participated in during the Cold War included Exercise Mariner, Operation Strikeback in 1957, the maritime component of Exercise Reforger, and Northern Wedding.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan ordered the Second Fleet to the Caribbean 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.
Desert Shield/Desert Storm
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Second Fleet trained more than half of the Navy ships deployed to Southwest Asia.
Reduced area of responsibility
On 1 July 2008, the Navy re-established the United States Fourth Fleet, based at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, which then assumed responsibility for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean Sea and the waters of Central and South America.
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Second Fleet dispatched 17 ships, 48 helicopters, 12 fixed-wing aircraft and over 10,000 sailors and Marines in support of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response. Second Fleet units conducted 336 air deliveries, delivered 32,400 US gallons (123,000 l; 27,000 imp gal) of water, 111,082 meals and 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) of medical supplies. Hospital ship USNS Comfort, as well as survey vessels, ferries, elements of the Maritime_Prepositioning_ship and underway replenishment fleets, and a further three amphibious operations ships also participated.
During the evacuation of Hurricane Irene in August, 2011, the fleet evacuated to the safety of the open ocean.
On January 6, 2011, it was reported via a DoD news article that the Navy would disestablish Second Fleet in order to "use those savings and more to fund additional ships." The fleet was officially dissolved in a ceremony at Norfolk on 30 September 2011.
Second Fleet's responsibilities and its additional title of Commander, Task Force 20, were transferred to the re-organized United States Fleet Forces Command, as was the post of CJOS COE, which was renamed CJFS COE.
- ^ "JTFEX 08-4 "Operation Brimstone" Flexes Allied Force Training". NNS080715-21. U.S. Navy. July 15, 2008. http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=38478. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- ^ Second Fleet, History, accessed March 2009.
- ^ Global Security, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2005/06/mil-050623-nns02.htm .
- ^ "Global Security.org Second Fleet". http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/c2f.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-10.
- ^ "United States Second Fleet (Official Website)". Archived from the original on 7 January 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070107233444/http://www.secondfleet.navy.mil/files/history/history.html. Retrieved 10 December 2006.
- ^ Navy Re-Establishes U.S. Fourth Fleet
- ^ http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/08/navy-hurricane-irene-scatters-2nd-fleet-082511/
- ^ Bill Sizemore and Kate Wiltrout, Memo: Obama could OK Joint Forces closure by Sept. 1, The Virginian-Pilot, 21 August 2010
- ^ "United States Dept. of Defense (News Article)". http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=62353. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
- ^ Reilly, Corinne, "Navy's Second Fleet Sails Off Into History Books", Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 1 October 2011.
- ^ http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/Pages/ctf20.aspx, accessed October 2011
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