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On the background of increased tensions with Russia, US decides to reactivate its Second fleet

Washington – In view of the increasing challenges posed by the Russian Navy, Pentagon, the US Defence headquarters, has announced reactivation of its ‘Second Fleet’ stationed in the North Atlantic Ocean. The US has planned immediate deployment of 250 soldiers for this purpose. This information was given by Admiral John Richardson, “Operations chief” of the US Navy.

In 2011, during the tenure of former President Obama, a decision to retire the Second Fleet which was used for patrolling in the North Atlantic Ocean, had been taken. Robert Gates, the then Secretary of Defence, had issued orders to that effect. Subsequently, for the past 8 years, the US Navy’s individual destroyers had the responsibility of patrolling the North Atlantic Ocean region. But fleets featuring aircraft carriers and destroyers capable were excluded from this patrolling force.

However, Admiral Richardson announced that, ‘Considering the challenges being posed to the US security, it appears that the race between superpowers has once again come to fore. In such a situation it has become imperative to reactivate the Second Fleet as well as to deploy the warships, fighter jets and marines for securing the east coast of the United States’. Richardson informed that deployment of the 2nd fleet will commence from the 1st of July and 11 naval officers shall be in charge of it.

As earlier, the command base of the 2nd Fleet shall be at ‘Norfolk’. It is not yet clear if this fleet would consist of aircraft-carriers. However, this fleet will have total responsibility of all military operations in the Central and Latin American region. Officials from the Pentagon have indicated that capabilities of this fleet will soon be further enhanced. Officers from the US Navy claim that revival of the Second Fleet will reduce the strain on the US Naval force in the European region. Two years ago, the Command chief of the US Navy in the European region had expressed the need to revive the Second Fleet while emphasising the growing activities of the Russian, Chinese and Iranian naval forces.

In the meanwhile in January, the US Defense Secretary James Mattis had made an announcement about enhancing the capabilities of the US Navy in view of the increasing challenges being posed from Russia and China. He had stated that if the United States wished to sustain its maritime supremacy, then expansion of the Navy and extensive cooperation with allied nations was imperative. Defense Secretary Mattis had also announced President Trump’s decision of increasing the number of warships and submarines in the US Navy.