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U.S. 2nd Fleet achieved full operational capability – Defence Blog


Seven months after reaching initial operational capability (IOC), U.S. 2nd Fleet (C2F) achieved full operational capability (FOC) Dec. 31, 2019.

Since its reestablishment in August 2018, Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, C2F commander, has led the resurgence of the Navy’s newest numbered Fleet, amidst a return to great power competition as outlined in the National Defense Strategy.

“Within an increasingly complex global security environment, our allies and competitors alike are well aware that many of the world’s most active shipping lanes lie within the North Atlantic,” said Lewis. “Combined with the opening of waterways in the Arctic, this competitive space will only grow, and 2nd Fleet’s devotion to the development and employment of capable forces will ensure that our nation is both present and ready to fight in the region if and when called upon.”

C2F, headquartered in Norfolk, Va., exercises operational authorities over assigned ships, aircraft and landing forces on the East Coast and the North Atlantic.

The achievement of FOC signifies C2F has reached sufficient capacity to sustain command and control over assigned forces using the operational functions and processes of the Maritime Operations Center and Maritime Headquarters, in accordance with Navy Doctrine.

C2F will primarily focus on forward operations and the employment of combat ready naval forces in the Atlantic and Arctic, and to a smaller extent, on force generation and the final training and certification of forces preparing for operations around the globe.

“Our involvement in force generation is limited to the integrated phase – the final stages of the training cycle when our ships are operating at the high-end in aggregate,” said Lewis. “This is an important distinction from the previous 2nd Fleet that disestablished in 2011 in that it aligns us with all other OCONUS numbered Fleets.”

In June, C2F led exercise Baltic Operations on behalf of Naval Forces Europe, marking it the first time the Fleet operated in the European theater since its reestablishment, leveraging increased lethality, interoperability and integrated warfighting capability with regional allies and partners.

Building its expeditionary capability, C2F established a Maritime Operations Center (MOC) this past September in Keflavik, Iceland. This forward operating MOC, made up of approximately 30 members of C2F staff, possessed the ability to command and control forces, provide basic indicators and warnings for situational awareness, and issue orders while maintaining reach-back capability to C2F headquarters.

Additionally, C2F has a trans-Atlantic outlook and understanding that it is intrinsically linked with allies and partners – both up towards the Arctic as well as across the Atlantic.

“We tirelessly work with our partner and NATO alliances to strengthen our deterrence and defense efforts throughout the Atlantic to improve upon our readiness and responsiveness,” said Lewis. “This critical relationship will continue to grow throughout the future, as we work together to ensure there is no seam in the Atlantic for our adversaries to exploit.”

By focusing on strengthening our partnerships with our Allies in the Atlantic and high-end training and employment of assigned assets, the new C2F is now fully postured to support the employment of forces, whether that is on the western or eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean, or further north into the Arctic Ocean.

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U.S. Navy to christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship – Defence Blog


The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, Dec. 7, in Mobile, Alabama.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, representing Alabama’s first district, will deliver the christening ceremony’s principal address. His wife, Rebecca Byrne, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of South Alabama, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Rebecca Byrne will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

”USS Mobile is a marvel of engineering,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. ”She will extend our capabilities for any mission, from the middle of the ocean to the shallowest of waters, enhancing our ability to project power ashore and at sea. This Independence-class LCS will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world.”

LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

LCS 26 is the 13th Independence-variant LCS and the 26th in the class. It is the fifth ship named in honor of the port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The first Mobile was a side wheel steamer that operated as a Confederate government operated blockade runner. It was captured by U.S. forces at New Orleans in April 1862, commissioned as Tennessee and later renamed Mobile. The second Mobile was a passenger liner operated by Hamburg Amerika Lines between Germany and the United States until the outbreak of World War I. It was taken over by the Allied Maritime Council and assigned to the United States after the Armistice and commissioned March 1919. The third Mobile (CL 63) was commissioned March 24, 1943. It participated in numerous campaigns in the Pacific during World War II and received 11 battle stars for her service by the time she was decommissioned May 1947. The fourth Mobile (LKA 115) was an amphibious cargo ship that served from September 1969 until decommissioning in February 1994.

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USS Harry S. Truman begins flight operations in U.S. Sixth Fleet – Defence Blog


U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa said Sunday that the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) begins flight operations in U.S. Sixth Fleet to support maritime security operations in international waters, alongside our allies and partners.

Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Andrew J. Loiselle, include flagship USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), commanded by Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh; the eight squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28.

“We are ready to continue our steadfast commitment to our allies and partners in U.S. 6th Fleet,” said Loiselle. “These vital sea lanes must remain open for global commerce and prosperity, and nothing in the world is able to foster regional security like a carrier strike group.”

Squadrons of CVW-1, commanded by Capt. Robert Gentry, embarked on Truman include Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 “Red Rippers;” VFA-81 “Sunliners;” VFA-136 “Knighthawks;” VFA-211 “Fighting Checkmates;” Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137 “Rooks;” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126 “Seahawks;” Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72 “Proud Warriors;” Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 11 “Dragon Slayers;” and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”

The Harry S. Truman strike group last operated in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in 2018, demonstrating its ability to operate from the High North to the East Mediterranean.

In mid-November, the U.S. Navy has announced repairs to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) are complete and added that all efforts are being made to return the carrier and air wing to sea to conduct operations.

In August, the Navy announced an emergent maintenance requirement for an electrical issue aboard Truman, according to a Navy news release.

“The Navy replaced damaged components and completed tests to ensure no further issues will arise. An engineering analysis, coupled with inspections aboard several aircraft carriers, show that this was a localized issue and not a class-wide concern,” the Navy message states. “The success of this repair was due to the outstanding efforts of multiple Navy organizations and industry partners who quickly brought their expertise and skills to bear to resolve this issue.”

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