NORFOLK — Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson announced the re-establishment of Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet (C2F) during a change of command ceremony in Norfolk on Friday.
The Navy chose to reestablish C2F in the face of more active Russian fleet and increasing military competition across the world, according to a memo signed by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer.
The recommendation came from outgoing U.S. Fleet Forces commander Adm. Phil Davidson and was endorsed by Richardson.
“As previously briefed to you by the CNO, the re-establishment of SECOND Fleet was directed to better respond to the changing security environment,” reads the memo.
New roles and patrols
C2F will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships, aircraft and landing forces on the East Coast and northern Atlantic Ocean.
Additionally, C2F will plan and conduct maritime, joint and combined operations to train, certify and provide maritime forces to respond to global contingencies., according to the U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs office.
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In 2011, the C2F was “disestablished” after 65 years of service. Many of its personnel, assets and responsibilities were merged into United States Fleet Forces.
The disestablishment allowed the Navy to achieve cost-savings through a streamlined organizational structure, said Naval Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rafael Martie.
The announcement of a reestablished command for C2F came during a changing of command for the USFF.
In this video from Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Mora, Richardson announces the re-establishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet during the U.S. Fleet Forces change of command ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush in port at Naval Station Norfolk on Friday. Adm. Chris Grady relieved Adm. Phil Davidson as commander of USFF during the ceremony. Grady is a native of Newport, Rhode Island, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
More agile and lethal
Nearly 500 civilian and military guests gathered to welcome Grady and bid farewell to Davidson as he departs after more than three years in command.
Distinguished guests at the ceremony included Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Gen. Lori Robinson and Richardson.
“There’s no doubt that our Navy is more agile and lethal by virtue of our ability to connect, combine, and adapt in rapidly adaptable ways — a direct result of Adm. Davidson’s keen creativity and intellect,” Richardson said during the ceremony.
Davidson expressed his appreciation to the Fleet Forces staff for the accomplishments obtained under his charge.
Expanding the Navy’s competitive space
USFF organizes, mans, trains, maintains, and equips more than 125 ships, 1,000 aircraft, and 103,000 active duty service members and government employees, develops and submits budgets, and executes readiness and personnel accounts to develop both required and sustainable levels of fleet readiness. Additionally, the command serves as the unified voice for fleet training requirements and policies to generate combat-ready Navy forces.
“We shall succeed by expanding our competitive space with continued investments and developments in every domain, from the sea bed to space and cyber, under the sea, on the sea, and in the air. As we fight as a fleet, we will harness the power of the digital age to be faster, more networked, more agile, and more lethal. Similarly, we will harness the power of the digital age to generate readiness by being more predictive, more efficient, and more innovative,” Grady said.
Grady joins the USFF team after wrapping up his tour as the commander of U.S. 6th Fleet, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; deputy commander, U.S Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa; and Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Europe.
Grady is the 42nd commander of USFF, originally established as Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet by President Theodore Roosevelt. Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans, served as the first commander, assuming command on Jan. 1, 1906 aboard his flagship, the battleship USS Maine. In October 2006, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Fleet Forces Command became U.S. Fleet Forces Command in a ceremony held aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to the Navy.