The United States of America has started to re-establish its Second Fleet which caters to Northern Atlantic Ocean seven years after it was disbanded. The decision has been undertaken as Russia has again been put at the heart of military strategy of Pentagon. Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson has stated that it is evident that the era of great power competition is back thus making the security environment increasingly challenging and complex.
The Second Fleet is slated to implement both operational and administrative authority on various aircraft, ships and even landing forces along the north Atlantic Coast and East Coast. The new Command will start with 15 personnel and ultimately extend to 200 people. Decisions about the commanding authority and its assets are yet to be taken. The Fleet was disbanded in 2011 basically for saving costs and other structural reasons of the organization.
The recent spate of tensions between US and Russia in addition to growing assertiveness of Russia particularly in Syria and Ukraine have become more apparent. US military had earlier also hinted at a new national defence strategy to counter both China and Russia thus marking a major shift in priorities after a decade of focus on Islamic militancy.
Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary has stated that China and Russia are revisionist powers trying to impose an authoritarian model on the modern world. Russian patrols in the Baltic Sea, North Atlantic and the Arctic have considerably increased despite the reduced size of its Navy as compared to Cold War years.
US bilateral relations with Russia have plummeted recently due to Russian meddling in 2016 US Presidential elections, the nerve agent poisoning of its ex-spy Sergei Skripal and also it’s backing of the Syrian regime forces in Syria. Pentagon is also offering to host a NATO Joint Force Command at Norfolk. The latter is one of the two Commands which have been proposed to deter Russia.