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US Fleet Commanders Convene in Midst of Russian Navy Buildup

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As America reconstituted the Cold War-era Second Fleet to deal with a resurgent Russian naval presence, leaders of the Second and Sixth Fleets met last week to plot strategy to deal with Russia.

On Thursday, Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, who commands the Sixth Fleet commander, and Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commanding the Second Fleet, met in Italy.

“Our fleets will operate in a dynamic security environment, and the establishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet will help the U.S. Navy and our nation to meet these challenges head on,” Franchetti said, according to American Military News.

The meeting came as Russia announced massive naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Navy said it is not looking for trouble, and expects Russian ships in the Mediterranean Sea to do the same.

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“The U.S. Navy has a routine presence in the Mediterranean Sea and throughout the world’s waterways,” said Cmdr. John Perkins, spokesman for Naval Forces Europe and Africa, according to Stars and Stripes. “We expect that Russian ships operating in the Mediterranean Sea would conduct themselves safely and professionally, in accordance with international laws and customs.”

The Second Fleet was formally commissioned late last month in Norfolk, Virginia.

“Although deeply consequential, the meaning of this establishment can be summarized simply as a dynamic response to a dynamic security environment — a security environment clearly articulated in the National Defense Strategy,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, according to WTKR.

“We first need to understand this competitive security environment and why it demands every ounce of our tenacity, ingenuity and fighting spirit. Then we can focus on the mission and how best to accomplish it; 2nd Fleet will enhance our capacity to maneuver and fight in the Atlantic, and as a result, help to maintain America’s maritime superiority that will lead to security, influence and prosperity for our nation,” he said, noting that the fleet played a major role in the Cold War and would be ready to responded to Russian expansionism.

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“You do get a sense of the gravity of this moment,” he said aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, the Washington Times reported.

The Second Fleet will operate from the East Coast of the United States throughout the north Atlantic and into the Arctic.

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Retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, former NATO supreme allied commander, said the U.S. is positioning the fleet to balance Russia’s moves.

“The new battle space for 2nd Fleet reflects two critical elements: The first is Russia’s desire to extend the distance over which its fleet can roam,” he said. “The second is new long-range attack technologies that allow Russia far greater maritime standoff distance.”

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The Cold War-era Second Fleet was decommissioned in 2011 before being reconstituted this year.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
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