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US Navy Fleets

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The 2nd Fleet

The Second Fleet is responsible in peacetime for training the Atlantic battle fleet in war-fighting skills, developing and evaluating new naval tactics and maintaining theater battle group readiness. Second Fleet operates primarily in 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. It also operates along both coasts of South America and part of the west coast of Central America. In all, it covers more than 38 million square miles. The US Second Fleet traces its origin to the reorganization of the Navy after World War II in December 1945 and the formation of the US Eighth Fleet. In February 1950, the command was redesignated to its current title, US Second Fleet, and is a part of US Atlantic Command. Presently, the Second Fleet is based in Norfolk, VA. The force consists of a balanced mix of capabilities including aircraft carriers, surface combatants, submarines, surveillance assets, amphibious forces, marine landing and mobile logistic units.

Area of Operations:

Atlantic Ocean.


Norfolk, Virginia.


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The 3rd Fleet

The main task of the Third Fleet is to patrol and to control the waters of the central and eastern Pacific. In peacetime the Third Fleet has no ARG and the carriers in the area are on their way to the Seventh Fleet or conduct training cruises after an overhaul for example.

Third Fleet was formed as a fighting force under Admiral "Bull" Halsey on 15 March 1943, and reconstituted in the Middle and Eastern Pacific on 01 February 1975.

Area of Operations:

Eastern and central Pacific.


Pearl Harbor, Hi.


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The 4th Fleet

On 24 April 2008 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead announced the reestablishment of U.S. 4th Fleet and assigned Rear Adm. Joseph D. Kernan as its first commander. The 4th Fleet is responsible for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of focus, which encompasses the Caribbean, and Central and South America and the surrounding waters. Its mission is to direct U.S. naval forces operating in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions and interact with partner nation navies within the maritime environment. Various operations include counter-illicit trafficking, Theater Security Cooperation, military-to-military interaction and bilateral and multinational training.

The U.S. 4th Fleet was originally established in 1943 as one of the original numbered fleets, and was given a specific mission. During World War II, the U.S. needed a command in charge of protecting against raiders, blockade runners and enemy submarines in the South Atlantic. U.S. 4th Fleet was disestablished in 1950 when U.S. 2nd Fleet took over its responsibilities.

Area of Operations:

Caribbean, Central and South America


Mayport, Fla.

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The 5th Fleet

Fifth Fleet maintains a visible and powerful force to counter and deter threats to the Arabian [Persian] Gulf area. The Commander, US Naval Forces Central Command is the naval component commander for US Central Command responsible for combat operations in the Middle East. Fifth Fleet was initially established 26 April 1944 from Central Pacific Force, and dis-establsihed after the war. Through the 1980s several frigate- and destroyer-type ships and minesweepers were assigned to the Middle East Force as well as support ships. After the 1990 Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, the largest armada since World War II assembled in the Gulf in support of Operation Desert Shield, and ultimately Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The Middle East Force found itself operating under operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command where it remained following the war. During Desert Storm in 1991, the Commander, Seventh Fleet served as naval component commander for Central Command. Since the Gulf War, NAVCENT fulfilled the roles of both a naval component command and as the fleet command. Ships from the East and West Coasts comprised the fleet, but it operated without a traditionally understood structure or number. By July 1995, the course of events made a new numbered fleet necessary. After a 48-year hibernation, the US 5th Fleet was reactivated and it now cruises the Gulf. Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) exercises command and control over all naval operations throughout the AOR from a headquarters located in Manama, Bahrain. Since naval forces routinely make up over 70 percent of all US military presence in theater, NAVCENT’s location on the scene is an integral part of USCENTCOM's ability to successfully execute a theater strategy. From major exercises to day-to-day real world operations such as enforcement of UN sanctions, NAVCENT plays a major role in maintaining stability and deterring aggression in the region. The vast majority of NAVCENT’s operating forces are rotationally deployed to the region from either the Pacific Fleet or the Atlantic Fleet. These forces normally consist of an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (CVBG), an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), surface combatants, submarines, maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, and logistics ships.

Area of Operations:

Middle East (Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf)


Manama, Bahrain

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The 6th Fleet

Sixth Fleet, headquarterd on its command ship USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20), consists of approximately 40 ships, 175 aircraft and 21,000 people. The Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean is the major operational component of Naval Forces Europe. The principal striking power of the Sixth Fleet resides in its aircraft carriers and the modern jet aircraft, its submarines, and its reinforced battalion of US Marines on board amphibious ships deployed in the Mediterranean. Commander, Sixth Fleet has both US national and NATO responsibilities. He reports to the Commander-In-Chief, US Naval Forces, Europe (CinCUSNavEur) in the US chain of command and to CinCSouth when the Sixth Fleet operates as part of NATO as StrikForSouth. The CinC Naval Forces Europe, based in London, is responsible for US naval operations in the European area, and also holds the NATO position of CinC Allied Forces Southern Europe, responsible to the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe. The CINC Naval Forces Europe does not have administrative responsibilities for support of US naval forces in Europe, which are under the cognizance of CINC Atlantic Fleet.

The United States Sixth Fleet is operationally organized into task forces. Each task force is responsible to the Sixth Fleet Commander for specific functions related to assigned units. The Sixth Fleet Command Ship is the USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20) as the fleet flagship, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy.

Area of Operations:

Mediterranean Sea.


Naples, Italy.

Task Force 60:

Task Force 60 is Sixth Fleet's Battle Force. It is composed of one or more aircraft carriers, each with an accompanying complement of approximately six cruisers and destroyers. On board the aircraft carrier is an air wing of 65 - 85 aircraft. The air wing is the primary striking arm of the Battle Force, and includes attack, fighter, anti-submarine, and reconnaissance aircraft. Ships accompanying the carrier serve as defensive and offensive platforms with duties involving anti-air, surface and submarine warfare. In addition to its major role of controlling the seas, the Battle Force can also project its power over land.

Task Force 61:

Task Force 61 is the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group (MARG). It is composed of approximately three amphibious ships and their embarked landing craft. From these ships, United States Marine ground forces can move ashore by sea and air in amphibious assault of emergency evacuation missions. Once ashore, the ships of Task Force 61 logistically support the ground forces, until the objective of the landing has been accomplished, and the Marine Forces return to the ships.

Task Force 62:

Task Force 62 is the combat-ready ground force composed of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) of approximately 1,800 Marines. Transported in Task Force 61 ships, the MEU is equipped with armor, artillery, and transport helicopters that enable it to conduct operations ashore, or evacuate civilians from troubled areas.

Task Force 63:

Task Force 63 is the Logistics Force. Composed of oilers, provision ships, and repair ships, its mission is the delivery of supplies at sea, and effecting repairs to other ships and equipment of the Fleet.

Task Force 64:

Task Force 64 was the SSBN Force assigned to COMSIXTHFL. Until the end of the 1970th these ships were homeported in Rota, Spain.
In times of war the COMSIXTHFL had not had direct influence on the selection of the targets that would have been attacked by the SSBNs. These targets were annually chosen by the NATO's Nuclear Target Planning Group.

Task Force 66/69:

Task Force 66/69 is responsible for planning and coordinating area submarine and anti-submarine warfare operations in the Mediterranean. Specifically, Task Force 69 is composed of attack submarines that provide capability to destroy enemy surface ships and submarines, as well as protect other Sixth Fleet ships from attack.

Task Force 67:Task Force 67 is composed of land-based maritime patrol aircraft. These aircraft operate over the waters of the Mediterranean in anti- submarine, reconnaissance, surveillance, and mining roles.

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The 7th Fleet

Seventh Fleet, established 19 February 1943 from Southwest Pacific Force, is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 50-60 ships, 350 aircraft and 60,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Operating in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf -- up to 11,000 miles from the west coast of the United States, Seventh Fleet, with the support of its Task Force Commanders, performs three jobs. First, C7F can be assigned as a Joint Task Force commander in the event of natural disaster or joint military operation. Second, C7F is the operational commander for all naval forces in the region. Finally, C7F is designated as the Combined Naval Component Commander for the defense of the Korean peninsula; in the event of hostilities, all friendly naval forces in the theater would fall under C7F control. Of the 50-60 ships typically assigned to Seventh Fleet, 18 operate from U.S. facilities in Japan and Guam. These forward-deployed units represent the heart of Seventh Fleet. The 18 permanently forward-deployed ships of the US 7th Fleet are the centerpieces of American forward presence in Asia. They are 17 steaming days closer to locations in Asia than their counterparts based in the continental United States. It would take three to five times the number of rotationally based ships in the United States to equal the same presence and crisis response capability as these 18 forward deployed ships. On any given day, about 50 percent of Seventh Fleet forces are deployed at sea throughout the area of responsibility.
The Seventh Fleet Command Ship is the USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19), forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

Area of Operations:

Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.


Yokosuka, Japan.

Task Force 70:

Task Force 70 is the Battle Force Seventh Fleet commanded by the Commander Battle Force Seventh Fleet.

Task Force 71:

Task Force 71 is responsible for planning and coordination actions of the Seventh Fleet.

Task Force 72:

Task Force 72 consists of the patrol and reconnaissance force Seventh Fleet.

Task Force 73:

Task Force 73 is the Seventh Fleet logistic support force.

Task Force 74:

Task Force 74 includes all submarines operating in the Seventh Fleet area of operations.

Task Force 75:

Task Force 75 includes all surface combatants in the Seventh Fleet area of operations.

Task Force 76:

Task Force 76 consists of the Seventh Fleet ARG and all additional amphibious ships operating in the Seventh Fleet area of operations.

Task Force 77:

Task Force 77 is a part of Task Force 70 and is the carrier strike force Seventh Fleet commanded by COMCARGRU 5.

Task Force 79:

Task Force 79 is the landing force transported in TF 76.

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