NORFOLK, Va. – The U.S. Navy formally restored to his 2nd Fleet on Friday, the intensification of the focus on the North Atlantic Ocean, where the Russian army is active at a pace that we have not seen since the end of the Cold War.
The change is mainly organizational. It revives an Admiral-level command dedicated to the surveillance of American warships as they deploy between the U.S. east coast and the Barents Sea, off the coasts of Norway and Russia.
The new fleet also reflects a broader change in U.S. military strategy. The nation ‘ s first concern is the shift of the terrorism in the Middle East to America’s growing competition with China and Russia.
“We are not looking for a fight,” Chief of Naval Operations-Admiral John Richardson said aboard the USS George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier in Norfolk, Virginia. “But the best way to avoid a fight is the development of the most powerful and deadly and competitive Navy as possible,” he said.
Richardson added that, if called, the Norfolk-based 2nd Fleet “will conduct decisive combat operations, the defeat of an enemy.”
China and Russia are building larger navies as they try to expand their global influence. Russia in particular is the increase of the submarine patrols, among other military activities.
In 2017, Russian Adm. Vladimir Korolyov said that his country is submarine the crew had been more than 3,000 days on patrol in the past year, which corresponds with the Soviet-era operational tempo. It is unclear how many days of Russian subs were on patrol in the previous years.
“It is an excellent level,” he said in remarks carried by the state news agency RIA Novosti.
The concern about the information war have also emerged among the AMERICAN lawmakers and American allies as the Russian ships remain in the vicinity of submarine communication cables.
Encounters between Russian and NATO fighter aircraft have also become more prevalent.
In January, the british Royal Air Force scrambled two fighter jets to intercept Russian strategic bombers near uk airspace.
The original 2nd Fleet was founded in the 1950’s as a response to the growing threat of the Soviet Union. It played an integral role in the events, such as the cuba-Crisis in 1962. It was disbanded and merged with the Fleet Forces Command in 2011 to save costs.
Having a 2nd Fleet allows US to work more closely and effectively with their NATO allies, retired U.S. Navy Admiral Gary Roughead said in an interview. And they are better prepared to respond to potential Russian aggression.
Roughead said he expected the Russian military to increase its presence in the Atlantic ocean in the coming years. A critical area will be the waters between the Uk, Iceland and Greenland.
“It is clear that the Russian fleet is not the size of the Soviet fleet used to be, and also our fleet,” said Roughead, a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a former chief of naval operations. “But I think that the reactivation is a very wise thing to do.”