US Navy's Second Fleet Disappears, Victim Of Budget Cuts

From the Navy Times:

Heading off into history…

The Navy’s 2nd Fleet — the command that quarantined Cuba in 1962, led the Navy’s responses to Hurricane Katrina and oversaw East Coast Navy combat training for much of its 6 decades of service –faded into the history books Friday morning, the victim of a downturned economy, federal budget pressures and Navy cost-cutting.

The sun-splashed ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk merged 2nd Fleet, which traced its roots to 1946, with Fleet Forces Command, which itself sprouted out of the former Atlantic Fleet.



The merger comes about two months after the disestablishment of U.S. Joint Forces Command, which managed Pentagon demands for Navy deployers, trained deploying joint battle staffs and conducted joint experimentation. It, too, was shuttered in a cost-cutting move initiated by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who called for eliminating “wasteful, excessive and unneeded spending” and the redirection of defense dollars into the current wars and the “most likely and lethal future threats.”



The changes were also aimed at convincing a Congress under heavy pressure to cut federal spending that the Pentagon was getting its own house in order and that further spending cuts are unnecessary. But more are likely, given a $465 billion Defense Department passed by Congress for the next 12 years.

The Navy has frequently reorganized over the years, and Fleet Forces chief Adm. John Harvey told the audience that the 2nd Fleet disestablishment “part of the natural progression of things.”

Read the full story here.

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