Tuesday, August 18, 2009

U.S. 2nd Fleet Contributes to Global Operations

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler J. Wilson, U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. 2nd Fleet contributes to global operations and the maritime strategy with more than 90,000 Sailors and Marines operating, defending and training within U.S. 2nd Fleet's Area of Responsibility.

"Our people are doing a remarkable job in execution of the Maritime Strategy," said Vice Adm. Mel Williams Jr., commander of 2nd Fleet.

"That said, we must remain vigilant as we assess our performance, and we must be adaptive in our training, readiness and mission execution as conditions change across the range of military operations for maritime forces."

The maritime strategy is a mission statement which includes six core competencies: power projection, forward presence, sea control, maritime security, deterrence and humanitarian assistance/disaster response.

To execute the maritime strategy, 2nd Fleet maintains a commitment to three focus areas: maintaining safe and effective fleet operations to achieve mission success in the 2nd Fleet Area of Operations; providing ready maritime forces for global assignment; and teaming with allies and partners in execution of the maritime strategy.

Within the power projection and forward presence categories of the maritime strategy, 2nd Fleet works as a force provider, training and certifying carrier strike groups, amphibious ready groups and independent deployers for power projection and presence missions in Central, European, African and Southern Commands.

Additionally, 2nd Fleet leverages the benefits of Fleet Synthetic Training to maintain readiness while conserving energy.

Maritime forces receive training from 2nd Fleet on anti-submarine, surface and mine warfare.

Dedicated to executing sea control, improvements in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) knowledge, experience and proficiency have been instituted to include a semi-annual ASW exercise series and an ASW continuum, which transcends type commander and fleet commander boundaries.

In support of maritime security, 2nd Fleet continues to support NATO's transformation as director of the Combined Joint Operations From the Sea Centre of Excellence, a multi-national military body that provides a focus for 13 sponsoring nations and NATO to improve allied joint maritime operations. Thirty-five foreign nation officers work within the 2nd Fleet maritime headquarters.

The maritime operations center (MOC) at 2nd Fleet supports naval and joint operations and provides commanders with people and processes which are flexible, scalable and can be tailored to enhance global maritime capabilities.

The MOC significantly expands maritime domain awareness by globally networking with other services, coalitions and allies, federal, state, local agencies and non-government organizations. The MOC provides more efficient and effective command and control of forces, globally and regionally.

In addition to the MOC, 2nd Fleet's constituency includes four carrier strike groups, one carrier in maintenance, five amphibious ready groups and three marine expeditionary units.

Finally, 2nd Fleet executes the maritime strategy through realistic, repeatable and adaptive fleet training focused at the unit commander level. Second Fleet is working to enhance fleet irregular warfare training to better prepare forces to operate in irregular warfare environments.

Second Fleet continues to work with like-minded nations to deter, detect and deny terrorist activities and enhance maritime security.

To better execute maritime homeland defense responsibilities in support of U.S. Joint Forces Command and U.S. Northern Command, in December 2008, 2nd Fleet established flexible deterrent options aligned with U.S. Northern Command's Maritime Homeland Defense Maritime Activity Postures.

The Navy continues to work with partners to deter aggressors, protect the right to operate freely at sea and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief around the world.

As a forward presence in humanitarian assistance/disaster response efforts, in September 2008, 2nd Fleet supported efforts in Texas and Haiti. The amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) supported disaster response for local, state and federal authorities in Galveston, Texas, after the devastation left by Hurricane Ike. Additionally, the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducted humanitarian assistance and disaster response in Haiti following devastating hurricanes.

"As the mission continues to grow, 2nd Fleet continues to press forward in safe and effective fleet operations as they defend the homeland and prepare our people and forces for global assignment," said one member of the staff.

"Second Fleet will accomplish its mission with excellence as the standard, today and in the future, in the Atlantic and globally as directed, because our nation requires this from us as we continually improve all that we do."